Thomas Vail, MD

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., Suite 430
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353–2808
Fax: (415) 885–3862

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

Conditions & Treatments

Board Certification

Orthopaedic Surgery

More about Thomas Vail

Additional Languages



Loyola University School of Medicine 1985


Duke University, Orthopaedic Surgery 1991


Duke University, Reconstructive/Cosmetic Surgery 1992

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Leung JM, Sands LP, Chen N, Ames C, Berven S, Bozic K, Burch S, Chou D, Covinsky K, Deviren V, Kinjo S, Kramer JH, Ries M, Tay B, Vail T, Weinstein P, Chang S, Meckler G, Newman S, Tsai T, Voss V, Youngblom E. Perioperative Gabapentin Does Not Reduce Postoperative Delirium in Older Surgical Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Anesthesiology. 2017 Oct; 127(4):633-644.
  2. Newman ET, Herschmiller TA, Attarian DE, Vail TP, Bolognesi MP, Wellman SS. Risk Factors, Outcomes, and Timing of Manipulation Under Anesthesia After Total Knee Arthroplasty. J Arthroplasty. 2017 Aug 10.
  3. Fowler TW, Acevedo C, Mazur CM, Hall-Glenn F, Fields AJ, Bale HA, Ritchie RO, Lotz JC, Vail TP, Alliston T. Glucocorticoid suppression of osteocyte perilacunar remodeling is associated with subchondral bone degeneration in osteonecrosis. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 22; 7:44618.
  4. Vail TP. Same-Day Versus Next-Day Discharge Increased Pain on the Day After, But Not on the Day of or Four Weeks After, Total Hip Arthroplasty. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2017 Feb 15; 99(4):352.
  5. Zhang AL, Sing DC, Dang DY, Ma CB, Black D, Vail TP, Feeley BT. Overlapping Surgery in the Ambulatory Orthopaedic Setting. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016 Nov 16; 98(22):1859-1867.
  6. Nishio S, Fukunishi S, Yoshiya S, Sing DC, Hansen EN, Vail TP. Comparison of Complications Following Revision of Metal-on-Metal Versus Metal-on-Polyethylene Total Hip Arthroplasty. Orthopedics. 2017 Jan 01; 40(1):e164-e169.
  7. Barry JJ, Sing DC, Vail TP, Hansen EN. Early Outcomes of Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty After Prior Lumbar Spinal Fusion. J Arthroplasty. 2017 Feb; 32(2):470-474.
  8. Vail TP. CORR InsightsŪ: The John Charnley Award: Redefining the Natural History of Osteoarthritis in Patients With Hip Dysplasia and Impingement. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2017 02; 475(2):351-352.
  9. Sing DC, Barry JJ, Cheah JW, Vail TP, Hansen EN. Long-Acting Opioid Use Independently Predicts Perioperative Complication in Total Joint Arthroplasty. J Arthroplasty. 2016 Sep; 31(9 Suppl):170-174.e1.
  10. Sing DC, Barry JJ, Aguilar TU, Theologis AA, Patterson JT, Tay BK, Vail TP, Hansen EN. Prior Lumbar Spinal Arthrodesis Increases Risk of Prosthetic-Related Complication in Total Hip Arthroplasty. J Arthroplasty. 2016 Sep; 31(9 Suppl):227-232.e1.
  11. Yen TE, Allen JC, Rivelli SK, Patterson SC, Metcalf MR, Flink BJ, Mirrakhimov AE, Lagoo SA, Vail TP, Young CC, Moon RE, Trzepacz PT, Kwatra MM. Association between Serum IGF-I levels and Postoperative Delirium in Elderly Subjects Undergoing Elective Knee Arthroplasty. Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 05; 6:20736.
  12. Nardo L, Han M, Kretzschmar M, Guindani M, Koch K, Vail T, Krug R, Link TM. Erratum to: Metal artifact suppression at the hip: diagnostic performance at 3.0 T versus 1.5 Tesla. Skeletal Radiol. 2015 Nov; 44(11):1617.
  13. Bozic KJ, Ong K, Kurtz S, Lau E, Vail TP, Rubash H, Berry D. Short-term Risk of Revision THA in the Medicare Population Has Not Improved With Time. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2016 Jan; 474(1):156-63.
  14. Hackney LA, Lee MH, Joseph GB, Vail TP, Link TM. Subchondral insufficiency fractures of the femoral head: associated imaging findings and predictors of clinical progression. Eur Radiol. 2016 Jun; 26(6):1929-41.
  15. Koenig KM, Ong KL, Lau EC, Vail TP, Berry DJ, Rubash HE, Kurtz S, Bozic KJ. The Use of Hyaluronic Acid and Corticosteroid Injections Among Medicare Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis. J Arthroplasty. 2016 Feb; 31(2):351-5.
  16. Nardo L, Han M, Kretzschmar M, Kretschmar M, Guindani M, Koch K, Vail T, Krug R, Link TM. Metal artifact suppression at the hip: diagnostic performance at 3.0 T versus 1.5 Tesla. Skeletal Radiol. 2015 Nov; 44(11):1609-16.
  17. Sing DC, Feeley BT, Tay B, Vail TP, Zhang AL. Age-Related Trends in Hip Arthroscopy: A Large Cross-Sectional Analysis. Arthroscopy. 2015 Dec; 31(12):2307-13.e2.
  18. Wyatt C, Kumar D, Subburaj K, Lee S, Nardo L, Narayanan D, Lansdown D, Vail T, Link TM, Souza RB, Majumdar S. Cartilage T1? and T2 Relaxation Times in Patients With Mild-to-Moderate Radiographic Hip Osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015 Jun; 67(6):1548-56.
  19. Horst PK, Choo K, Bharucha N, Vail TP. Graduates of Orthopaedic Residency Training Are Increasingly Subspecialized: A Review of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Part II Database. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2015 May 20; 97(10):869-75.
  20. Toogood PA, Vail TP. Periprosthetic Fractures: A Common Problem with a Disproportionately High Impact on Healthcare Resources. J Arthroplasty. 2015 Oct; 30(10):1688-91.

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.