Physician Photo

Bertram (Bert) Zarins, MD

Emeritus Chief, Sports Medicine Service

Augustus Thorndike Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Zarins is a leading sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon who has made important advances in arthroscopic surgery, both nationally and abroad. Dr. Zarins specializes in ACL reconstruction, knee ligament injuries and rotator cuff shoulder injuries.

Department of Orthopaedics
Clinical Interests
ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction
Rotator Cuff repair (shoulder)
Meniscus (knee cartilage) injuries
Knee ligament injuries
Shoulder dislocation
Patella (kneecap) dislocation
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Waltham: Mass General West
Medical Education
MD, SUNY at Syracuse (Upstate) College of Medicine
Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
Residency, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Foreign Languages
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients
Accepting New Patients


Dr. Bertram Zarins received his MD degree with honors from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse in l967. He did an internship and assistant residency in general surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Dr. Zarins completed the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program in l973 and a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Zarins is the Augustus Thorndike MD Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Harvard Medical School. He started the Sports Medicine Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital and was its Chief until 2007. He was a pioneer in the development of arthroscopic surgery and in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. Dr. Zarins was the head team physician for the Boston Bruins (NHL) for 32 years, the New England Patriots (NFL) for 24 years, and the New England Revolution (MLS) for 14 years. Dr. Zarins served on the US Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Council for 12 years and was head physician for the XIV Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in l984. Dr. Zarins has been Chairman of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Committee on Sports Medicine and was the Consulting Editor for Sports Medicine for the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Dr. Zarins is a specialist in the treatment of injuries to the knee and shoulder and in arthroscopic surgery. He specializes in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and other knee ligament and cartilage injuries. He also is an expert in the treatment of shoulder rotator cuff injuries and shoulder instability (dislocations and subluxations).


Dr. Zarins' clinical contributions have been in the development of Sports Medicine and arthroscopy as specialties and in the treatment of knee and shoulder injuries. He developed an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and has improved ways to stabilize the shoulder. Dr. Zarins also helped develop some of the arthroscopic diagnostic and surgical procedures that are used in arthroscopic surgery of the knee, shoulder and other joints today.

Dr. Zarins' research interests are related to knee, shoulder, and ankle injuries. Basic science research projects Dr. Zarins has done include biomechanical studies of the knee and ankle and studies on the effects of laser energy on musculoskeletal tissues.


Select Publications:

Mesiha M, Zurakowski D, Soriano J, Nielson JH, Zarins B, MurrayMM. Pathologic characteristics of the torn human meniscus. Am J Sports Med 2007;35:103-12.

Chan BP, Amann C, Yaroslavsky AN, Title C, Smink D, Zarins B, Kochevar IE, Redmond RW. Photochemical repair of Achilles tendon rupture in a rat model. J Surgical Research 2005;124:274-9.

Wang C, Ghalambor N, Zarins B, Warner JP. Arthroscopic versus open bankart repair:analysis of patient subjective outcome and cost. Arthroscopy 2005;21:1219-22.

Giza E, Mithofer K, Farrell L, Zarins B, Gill T. Injuries in wome's professional soccer. Br J Sports Med 2005;39:212-6.

Gill TJ, DeFrate LE, Wang C, Carey CT, Zyontz S, Zarins B, Li G. The effect of posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction on patellofemoral contact pressures in the knee joint under simulated muscle loads. Am J Sports Med 2003;32:109-13.

Part I: Knee Anatomy

This animation explains the anatomy of the ligaments which provide stability for the knee.

Part II: ACL Reconstruction Surgery

This animation demonstrates the procedure used in Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction surgery.

MGH hosts president of Latvia

The President of the Republic of Latvia, Dr. Valdis Zatlers visited the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery on September 28, 2010. President Zatlers is an orthopaedic surgeon and completed his Fellowship training in the early 1990s at Department of Orthopaedic Surgery’s Sports Medicine Service. He was mentored by Dr. Bertram Zarins, MD, who currently is Chief Emeritus of the Sports Medicine Service. The President toured the Sports Medicine Center along with the Latvian ambassador to the United States, Mr. Andrejs Pildegovics, MGH President, Dr. Peter Slavin and Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Harry Rubash.

Sports Medicine Service

Meet some of the members of our Sports Medicine Service.

MGH hosts president of Latvia

MGH Hotline 10.08.10 Hundreds of clinical and research fellows train at the MGH each year and go on to achieve great things in their careers. One former fellow, who trained in the MGH Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the early 1990s, is the current President of the Republic of Latvia Valdis Zatlers.

Mass General Hospital Physicians make “The List”

Boston Magazine recognizes 134 MGH physicians on its annual list of top doctors in the Boston area.

MGH Sports Medicine Center
175 Cambridge Street
4th Floor
Boston, MA 02114-2723

Phone: 617-726-3421
Fax: 617-726-3438