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Thomas Vail, M.D.

Chair of Orthopedic Surgery

Dr. Thomas Parker Vail, chair of Orthopedic Surgery at UCSF, is a specialist in total joint replacement and preservation of the hip and knee and surgical treatment of arthritis and osteonecrosis. In his research, Vail focuses on innovative bone implant techniques, clinical outcomes of devices used in adult reconstruction and repair of cartilage.

As chair of Orthopedic Surgery, Vail oversees the department's clinical, research and education activities.

Read a Q&A with Vail.


Arthritis and Joint Replacement Center
1500 Owens St.
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353–2808
Fax: (415) 885–3862

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

More about Thomas Vail

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Loyola University School of Medicine 1985


Duke University, Orthopaedic Surgery 1991


Duke University, Reconstructive/Cosmetic Surgery 1992

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Bozic KJ, Lau E, Ong K, Chan V, Kurtz S, Vail TP, Rubash HE, Berry DJ. Risk Factors for Early Revision After Primary TKA in Medicare Patients. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014 Jan; 472(1):232-7.
  2. Liu C, Kakis A, Nichols A, Ries MD, Vail TP, Bozic KJ. Targeted Use of Vancomycin as Perioperative Prophylaxis Reduces Periprosthetic Joint Infection in Revision TKA. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014 Jan; 472(1):227-31.
  3. Bozic KJ, Ward L, Vail TP, Maze M. Bundled payments in total joint arthroplasty: targeting opportunities for quality improvement and cost reduction. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014 Jan; 472(1):188-93.
  4. Schairer WW, Vail TP, Bozic KJ. What are the rates and causes of hospital readmission after total knee arthroplasty? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014 Jan; 472(1):181-7.
  5. Bozic KJ, Chan V, Valone FH, Feeley BT, Vail TP. Trends in hip arthroscopy utilization in the United States. J Arthroplasty. 2013 Sep; 28(8 Suppl):140-3.
  6. Subburaj K, Valentinitsch A, Dillon AB, Joseph GB, Li X, Link TM, Vail TP, Majumdar S. Regional variations in MR relaxation of hip joint cartilage in subjects with and without femoralacetabular impingement. Magn Reson Imaging. 2013 Sep; 31(7):1129-36.
  7. Lockhart PB, Garvin KL, Osmon DR, Hewlett AL, Scuderi G, Lewallen D, Vail T. The antibiotic prophylaxis guideline for prosthetic joints: trying to do the right thing. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2013 Mar; 21(3):193-4.
  8. Barnes CL, Vail TP, Takemoto SK. Where do knee revisions for infection, fracture, and other revisions get treated? J Arthroplasty. 2013 Mar; 28(3):423-8.
  9. Hug KT, Watters TS, Vail TP, Bolognesi MP. The withdrawn ASR™ THA and hip resurfacing systems: how have our patients fared over 1 to 6 years? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Feb; 471(2):430-8.
  10. Hug KT, Watters TS, Vail TP, Bolognesi MP. Reply to letter to the editor: the withdrawn ASR™ THA and hip resurfacing systems: how have our patients fared over 1 to 6 years? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Jan; 471(1):337.
  11. Bozic KJ, Ong K, Lau E, Berry DJ, Vail TP, Kurtz SM, Rubash HE. Estimating risk in Medicare patients with THA: an electronic risk calculator for periprosthetic joint infection and mortality. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Feb; 471(2):574-83.
  12. Queen RM, Newman ET, Abbey AN, Vail TP, Bolognesi MP. Stair ascending and descending in hip resurfacing and large head total hip arthroplasty patients. J Arthroplasty. 2013 Apr; 28(4):684-9.
  13. Bozic KJ, Lau EC, Ong KL, Vail TP, Rubash HE, Berry DJ. Comparative effectiveness of metal-on-metal and metal-on-polyethylene bearings in Medicare total hip arthroplasty patients. J Arthroplasty. 2012 Sep; 27(8 Suppl):37-40.
  14. Bozic KJ, Lau E, Kurtz S, Ong K, Rubash H, Vail TP, Berry DJ. Patient-related risk factors for periprosthetic joint infection and postoperative mortality following total hip arthroplasty in Medicare patients. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2012 May 2; 94(9):794-800.
  15. Worni M, Pietrobon R, Zammar GR, Shah J, Yoo B, Maldonato M, Takemoto S, Vail TP. System dynamics to model the unintended consequences of denying payment for venous thromboembolism after total knee arthroplasty. PLoS One. 2012; 7(4):e30578.
  16. Flink BJ, Rivelli SK, Cox EA, White WD, Falcone G, Vail TP, Young CC, Bolognesi MP, Krystal AD, Trzepacz PT, Moon RE, Kwatra MM. Obstructive sleep apnea and incidence of postoperative delirium after elective knee replacement in the nondemented elderly. Anesthesiology. 2012 Apr; 116(4):788-96.
  17. Viens NA, Hug KT, Marchant MH, Cook C, Vail TP, Bolognesi MP. Role of diabetes type in perioperative outcomes after hip and knee arthroplasty in the United States. J Surg Orthop Adv. 2012; 21(4):253-60.
  18. Lachiewicz PF, Bolognesi MP, Henderson RA, Soileau ES, Vail TP. Can tantalum cones provide fixation in complex revision knee arthroplasty? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2012 Jan; 470(1):199-204.
  19. Cooke ME, Allon AA, Cheng T, Kuo AC, Kim HT, Vail TP, Marcucio RS, Schneider RA, Lotz JC, Alliston T. Structured three-dimensional co-culture of mesenchymal stem cells with chondrocytes promotes chondrogenic differentiation without hypertrophy. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011 Oct; 19(10):1210-8.
  20. Giaconi JC, Link TM, Vail TP, Fisher Z, Hong R, Singh R, Steinbach LS. Morbidity of direct MR arthrography. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Apr; 196(4):868-74.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.