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Stephen L Kates, MD

Stephen L Kates, MD

out of 5
181 Ratings




Orthopaedic Surgery


Short Pump Pavilion

11958 West Broad Street
Henrico, VA 23233
Get Directions

William & Mary

332 N. Henry St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Get Directions

Adult Outpatient Pavilion

1001 E. Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23219
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Medical School

Northwestern University Feinberg Medical School


Northwestern Department of Medicine


Northwestern Department of Medicine

University Of Rochester Medical Center


When Mr. Fix-It finds his niche in putting bones back together
People generally refer to Stephen Kates, MD, as someone who can fix just about anything.

At home, he’s a cabinetmaker, machinist and mechanic who enjoys working with machines.

At the hospital, he’s known as a world-class bone surgeon, who puts people back together. Ask Dr. Kates why he opted to specialize in orthopaedic medicine, and you get the simplest answer: “I enjoy the mechanical fixation of bones.”

Plus, medicine is the family business. He represents the third generation to practice, while his daughter is the fourth.

As an orthopaedic surgeon and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the School of Medicine, Dr. Kates generally treats three primary types of cases: knee replacements; hip replacements, principally using an anterior approach; and orthopaedic trauma surgery, most commonly on upper or lower extremities and the pelvic area.

With many knee and hip replacements occurring in older patients, Dr. Kates gained unique experience in caring in geriatric patients. In fact, he developed what is today an internationally adopted model for treating geriatric fractures, an approach that has been adopted in medical centers in Europe, Latin America and Asia. In elevating the orthopaedic residency program at VCU, Dr. Kates has integrated additional training in geriatric topics for future orthopaedic surgeons.

Outside of the operating room, Dr. Kates, the John Cardea Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, continues to look for new ways to treat and prevent bone infection. His research team was honored for this work in 2015 with the Richard A. Brand Award for Outstanding Orthopaedic Research.

His clinics attract patients with challenging conditions from across Virginia. “I will do my best to address their problem and give them a truthful explanation of their condition and what can be done to help it,” says Dr. Kates, repeatedly recognized among the nation’s top orthopaedic surgeons by U.S. News & World Report. “Although this is well-received by most, it is not well-received by everyone.”

Dr. Kates proactively encourages his patients to be part of the solution. “We both have to do our part to be successful,” he says. “For the patients, this often means changing personal habits, such as stopping smoking, reducing their use of addictive substances, losing weight and improving problematic conditions, such as diabetes. My team and I try our best to do our part to prevent complications and improve outcomes in patients with such problems.”

“In five years, I envision people being primarily treated as outpatients,” he adds. “In only a decade from now, I expect there will be further advances in noninvasive and limited-invasive treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.”

And after full days in the clinic or operating room, Dr. Kates enjoys returning to his home workshop, where he’s a bit more accomplished than your traditional tinkerer. His hobbies extend to crafting classic furniture and rebuilding cars, which allows him to practice some metalworking. You might say he enjoys putting things back together so they work again.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery certified
  • American Orthopaedic Association
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Association
  • American College of Surgeons, leader of the national focused registry on hip fractures
  • Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, Editor
  • International Geriatric Fracture Society, Past president
  • AO Trauma Research
  • American Geriatrics Society
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


Research Interests
Treatment and prevention of bone infection

Clinical Interests

Adult Reconstruction Surgery; Orthopaedics; Trauma; Musculoskeletal Infections

Ratings & Reviews

181 Ratings

Learn More About the Press Ganey Surveycompliance

Dr. Kates spent time explaining not only information about my follow up situation he took time to discuss an additional issue that has come up.
April 2024
Both hips replaced by Dr. Kates - excellent surgeon - I recommend him to everyone!
December 2023
Dr. Kates is an excellent physician, who is very knowledgeable and very caring! He takes the time needed to cover everything before making an decisions about follow-up care.
October 2023
*Dr. Kates is a great surgeon. I am always recommending him to others.
September 2023
I am grateful for the degree of excellence Dr. Kates has [...]
July 2023
Excellent doctor.
July 2023
First dr. to actually examine my knee & not just look at x-rays.
July 2023
Dr. Kates was amazing, honest, up front, and thoroughly explained why I've been having this issue for the past nine years, which no other doctor has been able to do.
April 2023
Dr. Kates was very thorough, and showed me my actual MRI results
March 2023
My experience was excellent - never had bad pain - never lost my mobility -
February 2023
This provider is the best. I definitely trust him with any care that I may need in the future if any. Very professional and always listen to my concerns and orders any X-ray or test if needed. Very friendly and concerned about any issues I discuss with him.
February 2023
5 star - excellent.
January 2023
Dr. Kates is a phenomenal clinician. His care and concern is obvious. His approach to treatment options is thorough!
November 2022
Dr. Kates explained everything clearly & concisely will remaining friendly & caring.
October 2022
Dr. Kates is awesome
July 2022
The best orthopedist I've ever had!
July 2022
This was my second visit with Dr. Kates. There are preciou few doctors like him in the VCU system (or anywhere for that matter). He went above and beyond to help me with a medical problem beyond the scope of my appointment. Went to great lengths to explain things. He is a great asset to the VCU staff.
June 2022
I am transferring from another provider. Dr. Kates was attentive, clear, direct and to the point in answering my questions & explaining his recommendations. Excellent attention to my emotional as well as physical well-being. Very knowledgeable & experienced.
May 2022
Dr. Kates is excellent - he helped me so much, gave me lots of info & recommendations. He cared about my health.
March 2022
March 2022
Outstanding Care. Excellent treatment plan
February 2022
When a provider enters the room and states how bad your condition is, that is terrible bedside manners!
February 2022
He is an excellent physician
February 2022
I have good confidence in this dr. & his STAFF.
November 2021
The dr. listened well, was very compassionate, professional. He took lots of time with me.
October 2021
He was awesome. Very knowledgeable & delightful.
August 2021
Dr. Kates has superior communication skills and my complete confidence.
August 2021