Riley J. Williams III, MD

Dr. Riley J. Williams III is an Orthopedic Surgeon and specialist in knee, shoulder and elbow surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr. Williams is the Knee Group Leader of the Sports Medicine & Shoulder Service at HSS. He is also an Associate 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) professional basketball team, the New York Red Bulls (MLS) professional soccer team, and the Iona College Department of Athletics. He is also 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.


Associate Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery
Director of the Institute for Cartilage Repair, Hospital for Special Surgery
Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College


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


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
"Best Doctors in New York," New York Magazine, 2010 – 2015


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

Insurances Accepted

Blue Cross HMO POS
Blue Cross PPO
Blue Cross Pathway
Blue Cross Pathway Enhanced
United Healthcare

If your particular insurance plan is not listed, you may still have coverage subject to the availability of 'out-of-network' benefits. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage.


MD, Stanford University School of Medicine


Hospital for Special Surgery


Hospital for Special Surgery, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service


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

State Licensure

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Riley J. Williams III, MD has contributed to the following educational materials:

For Patients - on

For Professionals - on

Selected Publications

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.

Dr. Riley Williams III, Orthopedic Surgeon

Contact Information

Office Locations

Belaire Building, 1st floor
525 East 71st Street
New York, NY 10021

Tel: 212.606.1855

Mailing Address

Hospital for Special Surgery
535 East 70th Street
New York, New York 10021

Back in the Game Patient Stories:

Blog Posts by Dr. Williams:

Dr. Williams in the News: