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Riley J. Williams III, MD

Sports Medicine

About Dr. Williams


Dr. Riley J. Williams III is an orthopedic surgeon in the Sports Medicine Institute at HSS specializing in knee, shoulder and elbow surgery. He is also a Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Williams attended college at Yale University and medical school at Stanford University. His clinical and research interests are focused on returning athletes to sport and include: articular cartilage repair & transplantation, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, meniscus repair & transplantation, arthroscopic shoulder stabilization & labrum repair, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and elbow ligament reconstruction. Dr. Williams also utilizes stem cells and biologics in the treatment of many musculoskeletal disorders. Dr. Williams is the Director of the Institute for Cartilage Repair at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Dr. Williams is the Medical Director and Head Team Orthopedic Surgeon for the Brooklyn Nets (NBA) and New York Liberty (WNBA) professional basketball teams, the New York Red Bulls (MLS) professional soccer team, and the Iona University Department of Athletics. He is also a Team Physician for USA Basketball. In addition, Dr. Williams is the Director of the FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence at HSS specializing in the care of soccer injuries. He has also worked with both the New York Mets and New York Giants sports clubs.

Dr. Williams is an avid cyclist, triathlete, and workout enthusiast.


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Specialized Centers

Institute for Cartilage Repair
HSS Center for Regenerative Medicine

Special Expertise

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears
Articular Cartilage Restoration
Articular Cartilage Transplantation (Allograft)
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tears
Athletic Knee Injuries (Basketball, Football, Soccer, Lacrosse, Skiing)
Partial Knee Replacement
Revision Surgery

Labrum Tears
Rotator Cuff Tears
Frozen Shoulder
Revision Surgery
A-C Joint dislocation

Ligament Reconstruction
Tommy-John Surgery
Motion Loss
Throwers elbow

Patient Stories


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Please call our office if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage. If you have out-of-network benefits, then your insurance may reimburse you for a portion of your office visit. We will work with you and your insurance to minimize your out-of-pocket costs. Financial assistance may be available for patients in need.



Director of the Institute for Cartilage Repair, Hospital for Special Surgery
Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery
Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Professor of Clinical Orthopedic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College


American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS)
American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM)
American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES)
International Cartilage Research Society
NBA Physicians Society
Professional Soccer Physicians Society
New York State Medical Society


American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Sports Medicine Certification, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery


Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors, 2010-2020
Castle Connolly Top Doctors in New York Metro Area, 2007-2022
New York Magazine Top Doctors, 2010-2022
Aircast Award for Clinical Medicine, American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, 2005
Charles C. Neer Award for Excellence in Research, American Shoulder and Elbow Society, 2003
O'Donoghue Award for Sports Injury Research, American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, 1998
Philip D. Wilson Jr. Award for Excellence in Research, Hospital for Special Surgery, 1998
Ranawat Award for Excellence in Research, Eastern Orthopedic Association, 1998


Medical: Stanford University School of Medicine
Residency: Hospital for Special Surgery
Fellowship: Hospital for Special Surgery, Sports Medicine Service

State Licensure



For My Patients

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Surgical Locations

Dr. Williams performs surgery at the following locations:

Publications by Dr. Williams

Patient Education

Blog Posts

Selected Journal Articles

Crawford DC, DeBerardino TM, Williams RJ 3rd. NeoCart, an autologous cartilage tissue implant, compared with microfracture for treatment of distal femoral cartilage lesions: an FDA phase-II prospective, randomized clinical trial after two years. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2012 Jun 6;94(11):979-89.

Krych AJ, Harnly HW, Rodeo SA, Williams RJ 3rd. Activity levels are higher after osteochondral autograft transfer mosaicplasty than after microfracture for articular cartilage defects of the knee: a retrospective comparative study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2012 Jun 6;94(11):971-8.

Krych AJ, Robertson CM, Williams RJ 3rd; Cartilage Study Group.  Return to athletic activity after osteochondral allograft transplantation in the knee. Am J Sports Med. 2012 May;40(5):1053-9.

Görtz S, Williams RJ 3rd, Gersoff WK, Bugbee WD. Osteochondral and Meniscal Allograft Transplantation in the Football (Soccer) Player. Cartilage. 2012 Jan;3(1 Suppl):37S-42S.

Williams RJ 3rd, Hyman J, Petrigliano F, Rozental T, Wickiewicz TL. Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with a four-strand hamstring tendon autograft. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Am). 2004, 86(2):225-32.

For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.


Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Physicians at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.

As part of the disclosure process, this website lists physician collaborations with outside companies. The disclosures are provided by information provided by the physician and other sources and are updated regularly. Further information may be available on individual company websites.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Williams as of March 28, 2023.

  • BICMD, Inc. - Ownership Interest
  • CyMedica Orthopedics, Inc. - Ownership Interest
  • Gramercy Extremity Orthopedics -  Ownership Interest
  • HS2, LLC - Ownership Interest
  • HSS ASC of Manhattan, LLC - Ownership Interest
  • Overture Resurfacing, Inc. - Ownership Interest
  • Pristine Surgical - Advisory Board
  • Rehab Boost - Advisory Board
  • Remote Health Ventures - Ownership Interest
  • Tonal - Advisory Board; Ownership Interest

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS physicians with industry on this website, HSS and its physicians make this information available to their patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit physicians to collect royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Patients should feel free to ask their HSS physicians questions about these relationships.

Dr. Williams in the News

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