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Cassandra A. Lee, M.D.Board-certified Orthopedic SurgeonProfessor, Chief of Sports Medicine

Dr. Lee’s clinical interests relate to the diagnosis and management of patients who have sustained sports-related orthopaedic injuries, with emphasis on the knee and shoulder. Her surgical specialties include ligament reconstruction for instability, joint preservation and cartilage regeneration (such as osteochondral graft and autologous chondrocyte implantation), meniscus transplantation and mechanical realignment, and patellar stabilization. Dr. Lee also specializes in arthroscopic shoulder

Philosophy of Care

I believe in working together as partners with my patients. My job is to educate my patients about their sports injuries and to help guide them through their rehabilitation process, whether it be for operative or non-operative management.

About Dr. Lee

  • Clinical InterestsDr. Lee's clinical interests relate to the diagnosis and management of patients who have sustained sports-related orthopaedic injuries, with emphasis on the knee and shoulder problems. Her surgical specialties include ligament reconstruction, cartilage preservation (such as osteochondral allograft and autologous chondrocyte implantation), meniscal transplantation and multiligamentous knee reconstruction. Dr. Lee also specialize in arthroscopic shoulder procedures such as instability and rotator cuff repairs, as well as open-shoulder reconstruction procedures. Dr. Lee currently serves as an official team physician for the Sacramento Republic FC professional men's soccer team.
  • Research/Academic InterestsDr. Lee's research interests include the study of cartilage regeneration and ligament biology, and how they translate to clinical outcomes.
  • DivisionOrthopaedic Surgery - Sports Medicine
  • Center/Program AffiliationSports Medicine Program


  • Undergraduate SchoolB.A., Boston University, Boston MA 1996
  • Medical SchoolM.D., Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA 2001
  • InternshipGeneral Surgery, North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Winston Salem NC 2003-2004
  • ResidencyOrthopaedic Surgery, North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Winston Salem NC 2004-2008
  • FellowshipSports Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis MO 2008-2009


  • AOSSM SLARD Travelling Fellowship (cancelled due to COVID-19), 2020
  • International Cartilage Repair Society Lars Petersen Traveling Fellowship, 2017
  • International Cartilage Repair Society Scholarship, Izmir, 2013
  • International Cartilage Repair Society - Zimmer Scholarship Program, 2013
  • Zimmer-AOA Resident Leadership Forum, 2006


  • Next Steps: Advocating for Women in Orthopaedic Surgery.Scerpella TA, Spiker AM, Lee CA, Mulcahey MK, Carnes ML.J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2022 Apr 15;30(8):377-386. doi:10.5435/JAAOS-D-21-00932. PMID:34780383.
  • What's New in Sports Medicine. McKeithan LJ, Lameire DL, Tagliero AJ, Chahal J, Gwathmey FW, Lee CA.J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2023 Feb 28. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.22.01385. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36853964
  • Improving Technical Outcome in Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation of the Femoral Trochlea: The Role of Contoured Guides, Experience Level, Graft Size, and Graft Position.Delman CM, Haffner M, Rinaldi P, Lum ZC, Jamali AA, Wilson M, Lee CA.Orthop J Sports Med. 2023 Feb 13;11(2):23259671221145208. doi: 10.1177/23259671221145208. eCollection 2023 Feb. PMID: 36818603
  • Chondrocalcinosis and Osteoarthritis: A Literature Review. Guo SY, Lee CA, Wise BL.Eur J Rheumatol. 2023 Jan 23. doi: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2023.21093. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36688798
  • Flanigan DC, Sherman SL, Chilelli B, Gersoff W, Jones D, Lee CA, Toth A, Cramer C, Zaporojan V, Carey J. Consensus on Rehabilitation Guidelines among Orthopaedic Surgeons in the United States following Use of Third-Generation Articular Cartilage Repair (MACI) for Treatment of Knee Cartilage Lesions. Cartilage. 2021 Dec;13(1_suppl):1782S-1790S. doi: 10.1177/1947603520968876. Epub 2020 Oct 30. PubMed PMID: 33124432; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8808808
  • Wang DY, Lee CA, Zhang B, Li YZ, Meng XY, Jiang D, Yu JK. The immediate meniscal allograft transplantation achieved better chondroprotection and less meniscus degeneration than the conventional delayed transplantation in the long-term. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2022 Nov; 30(11):3708-3717. Doi: 10.1007/s00167-022-06982-9. PMID: 35484433
  • Wang DY, Lee CA, Li YZ, Zhang B, Li N, Jian D, Yu JK. Prognostic Factors to Determine Survivorship of Meniscal Allograft Transplant: A Systematic Review. Orthop J Sports Med. 2021 Jun;9(6):23259671211007215. doi: 10.1177/23259671211007215. eCollection 2021 Jun. Review. PubMed PMID: 34159210; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8182187.
  • Moran CJ, Busilacchi A, Lee, CA, Athanasiou KA, Verdonk PC. Biological Augmentation and Tissue Engineering Approaches in Meniscus Surgery. Arthroscopy 2015 Arthroscopy. 2015 May;31(5):944-955. PMID 25687715
  • Sakata R, Miyatake K, McNary SM, Lee CA, VanDenBogaerde JM, Marder RA, Reddi AH. Stimulation of Superficial Zone Protein, PRG 4, Lubricin and Lubrication by Platelet Rich Plasma in the Knee Joint. Am J Sports Med. 2015, PMID 25813869
  • Hsia AW, Jbeily EH, Mendez ME, Cunningham HC, Biris KK, Bang H, Lee CA, Loots GG, Christiansen BA. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis progression is diminished by early mechanical unloading and anti-inflammatory treatment in mice. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2021 Dec;29(12):1709-1719. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2021.09.014. Epub 2021 Oct 13. PubMed PMID: 34653605; PMCID: PMC8678362
  • Garrity C, Arzi B, Haus B, Lee CA, Vapniarsky N. A Fresh Glimpse into Cartilage Immune Privilege. Cartilage. 2022 Oct 15:19476035221126349. Doi: 10.1177/19476035221126349.
  • Kwon H, Brown W, Lee CA, Wang D, Paschos N, Hu Jerry, Athanasiou K. Surgical and tissue engineering strategies for articular cartilage and meniscus repair. Nature Reviews Rheumatology 2019 Sep;15(9):550-570. PMID: 31296933; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7192556.
  • Arzi B, DuRaine GD, Lee CA, Huey DJ, Borjesson DL, Murphy B, Hu JCY, Baumgarth N, Athanasiou KA. Cartilage immunoprivilege depends on donor source and lesion location. Acta Biomater. 2015 Sept;23:72-81. PMID 26028293
  • West DW, Lee-Barthel A, McIntyre T, Shamim B, Lee CA, Baar K. The exercise-induced biochemical milieu enhances collagen content and tensile strength of engineered ligaments. J Physiol. 2015 Oct:593(20):4665-75. PMID 26282066
  • Estrogen inhibits lysyl oxidase and decreases mechanical function in engineered ligaments. Lee CA, Lee-Barthel A, Marquino L, Sandoval N, Marcotte GR, Baar K. J Appl Physiol. 2015 May;118(10):1250-7. PMID 25979936

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Sports Coverage Experience

  • Team physician
    • Sacramento Republic FC
    • UC Davis Aggies
    • Sacramento City College Panthers
    • St. Louis Blues
    • St. Louis Rams
    • Washington University Bears
    • Wake Forest Demon Deacons
  • California International Marathon 2014 – present
  • Racing the Planet (4 Deserts) ultramarathon 2010 – present
  • World's Strongest Man Competition Sacramento
  • USA Track and Field
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Logo
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Logo
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America Logo
  • International Cartilage Regeneration & Joint Preservation Society Logo