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Robert O'Connell, MD

Robert O'Connell, MD

out of 5
235 Ratings


Sports Medicine


Orthopaedic Surgery


Mount Clement Office Park

300 Mount Clement Park
Tappahannock, VA 22560
Get Directions

Short Pump Pavilion

11958 West Broad Street
Henrico, VA 23233
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Sports Medicine

1300 West Broad Street, Suite 113
Richmond, VA 23284
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William & Mary

332 N. Henry St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
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Medical School

VCU School of Medicine


VCU School of Medicine


VCU School of Medicine


Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Clinic


Getting patients back to doing what they love — in sports or life

Whether it’s returning to golf or running, school sports, or playing with the grandkids, every patient with a bone, muscle, or joint conditions has a personal goal in mind. And helping patients achieve those goals is what motivates Dr. Robert O’Connell.

“I have always enjoyed being able to help get people back to doing the things that drive them,” says Dr. O’Connell. “It’s extremely gratifying and an honor to be able to help someone improve their quality of life.”

Dr. O’Connell is an orthopaedic surgeon at VCU Health and assistant professor in the VCU School of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, specializing in Sports Medicine. The surgeons and residents there practice out of five sites across greater Richmond (including the Level I trauma center at VCU Medical Center), caring for a wide range of injuries that are often related to athletic participation, with patients at all levels of competition. 

In terms of procedures, Dr. O’Connell specializes in minimally invasive arthroscopic and open surgery of the shoulder, hip, and knee, with a focus on joint preservation. He handles surgeries for rotator cuff tears, cartilage injuries, knee ligament/meniscal tears, and hip tears. He also performs shoulder replacements, fracture fixations, elbow arthroscopy and many other routine procedures, such as hip, knee, and shoulder injections. For most of his procedures, patients can go home on the same day of the surgery.

To be a successful orthopaedic surgeon, however, requires more than time in the clinic, dedication to patients, and a commitment to lifelong learning in a fast-evolving field. “You have to really be involved in the community,” he says. “That’s why you see sports medicine physicians serving in important roles for many local schools and teams, because our work with them can have a significant impact on a lot of our student-athletes’ futures. I enjoy getting to take care of athletes so they can excel.” (He’s a golfer and runner himself).

It also helps, he notes, to have a good orthopaedic surgeon you can call on for advice, or in the event you’re injured.

Dr. O’Connell joined VCU Health after completing his residency here. He brings a background in biomedical engineering to his knowledge of complex arthroscopic procedures, which often require implantations to repair bones or replace missing joints. “It helps me understand the implants and devices that we use, and hopefully will position me in a place to help develop new techniques in the future,” he says.

Advice for patients: Be an advocate for yourself and find someone to help you navigate the system. Don’t settle and if you aren’t comfortable with a plan of care, speak up and be involved in the decision-making process. Despite our best efforts, the medical system can be daunting but it is our goal to make it as easy and seamless for you and your family as possible.

Professional Affiliations 

  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery
  • Arthroscopic Associate of North America
  • American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • Virginia Orthopedic Society
  • AOA Emerging Leaders Program

Professional Activity/Team Coverage

  • AANA Fellowship Committee
  • Randolph Macon- Head Team Physician
  • William and Mary- Assistant Team Physician
  • Virginia Commonwealth University- Assistant Team Physician
  • Chesterfield Public School System- Team Physician

For a list of publications, please visit PubMed.

Honors and Awards

  • Best Resident Award, VCU Orthopedic Surgery, 2019
  • Resident Leadership Forum Nominee, AOA, 2018
  • VCU Subspecialty Medical Student Teaching Award, 2016
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, 2013


Clinical Interests

Cartilage restoration; Joint preservation; Hip arthroscopy; Complex knee and shoulder reconstruction; Regenerative medicine

Provider Videos

Ratings & Reviews

235 Ratings

Learn More About the Press Ganey Surveycompliance

Dr. O'Connell never rushed through any of my appointments. He is attentive to all my questions and needs. Ultimate professional. He is a really good person. Great listener.
July 2023
The doctor listened and answered all my questions. Together we created a follow up plan.
March 2023
Dr. O'Connell is a great asset to the VCU Health medical staff
January 2023
Seemed quite stern and serious, but he was completely honest with me and fully explained his reasoning behind things which I respect most. He didn't just blow me off and be passive, very thorough which is what I like most.
January 2023
Very satisfied with service
December 2022
I have already recommended Dr. O'Connell and his staff
December 2022
They are very professional.
October 2022
Dr O'Connell was wonderful! I'd highly recommend him.
October 2022
Very nice and professional.
October 2022
Discussed treatment options and listened to my concerns. Very pleased.
September 2022
The doctor went above and beyond to try and help figure out the complications and issues that were going on with me.
August 2022
Dr. O'Connell is the TRUTH! A great DR.
June 2022
Dr OConnell was great. He listened to my issues, assured me about the minor surgery and was very supportive through it all.
June 2022
Super nice!
March 2022
Fantastic provider
February 2022
Dr. O'Connell was very knowledgeable and competent and included discussing options about future care with me.
November 2021
Pain relief is complicated. The doctor was as concerned for my problem as possible.
November 2021
Great bedside manners.
September 2021
Best doc ever.
September 2021
Very attentive to my health concerns in addition to my original appointment
September 2021
Unfortunately I have had to have numerous surgeries and other facilities. I have never been treated with the degree of respectfulness, kindness and care as I have been from Dr. O'Connell and the entire VCU staff. I cannot say enough how wonderful and top notch you all are. I have never received anything but exemplary are for Dr. O'Connell and his staff. Thank you!!
September 2021
Awesome experience w/dr. & staff all the way through surgery.
September 2021
I am pleased with my care provider to this point. I reserve further comments for after my pending surgical procedure.
September 2021
This was my first visit with this Dr. I was competely sattisfied with him and would gladly recommend him to everyone.
July 2021
June 2021
Dr. O'Connell has been outstanding from pre-op to surgery to post-op care.
June 2021
My care is not complete since I have a couple more appointments scheduled related to this illness. Care has been good so far; and I like this doctor so far.
June 2021