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Clinical Care                                Education



Our Mission

About Dr. Skelley

I am honored to be an Associate Professor at the Sanford-USD School of Medicine in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I was born and raised in Joplin, Missouri. I attended Cornell University, where I majored in Science and Technology studies, and earned my medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. While at Johns Hopkins, I served as the president of the medical school student body and was also honored with membership in the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha. My residency was at Washington University in St. Louis/Barnes-Jewish Hospital. During my residency, I helped create and develop the AAOS Resident Assembly and participated in the Clinical Scholars Career Development program in Chicago, IL. I was a Sports Medicine Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital – Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.  During this fellowship I helped care for Harvard University Athletics, the Super Bowl winning NFL New England Patriots, NHL Bruins, and MLB Red Sox. My research has been published in several orthopaedic journals including the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the Journal of Arthroscopy, and JAAOS. My research interests involve mobile technologies, tissue engineering, and cartilage therapies. For my research efforts, I have received an OREF Resident Clinician-Scientist Research grant and was honored with the WUSTL Resident Research Award. I look forward to using my clinical experience to help you with your musculoskeletal health.



Harvard Medical School - Boston, Massachusetts

Sports Medicine Fellow - Massachusetts General Hospital

8/2016 – 7/2017



Washington University in Saint Louis - St. Louis, Missouri

Resident Physician - Orthopaedics, Barnes - Jewish Hospital

7/2011 – 6/2016


Medical School:             

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine - Baltimore, Maryland

Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society

Medical Doctorate - 2011

8/2007 – 5/2011  



Cornell University - Ithaca, New York

Science and Technology Studies: Biology and Society

Bachelors of Science - 2007 

8/2003 – 5/2007  


Hospital for Special Surgery - New York City, New York

Cornell University Urban Semester Program

5/2004 - 8/2004


High School:        

Joplin High School - Joplin, Missouri


8/1999 – 5/2003


This clinic continues the mission of education working with medical students, resident physicians, and fellows in training. 

Our mission is to provide local, state, and national orthopaedic care to patients with muscle and joint problems. We pursue this mission through work in four key areas: Cutting edge clincical care, educating patients and healthcare professionals, advancing orthopaedic knowledge through research, and advocating for our patients through health policy. We believe orthopaedic surgeons should be more than just physicians and also advance the science and understanding of orthopaedic care, educate others about that science and advocate for their patients' well-being to deliver the most comprehensive patient care. We are honored to be part of Sanford Health and appreciate the opportunity to support this world-class center with this mission.

About Kyle Cochran PA-C

I am honored to be helping you with your musculoskeletal health. I grew up in Slayton, MN. I attended the University of Minnesota-Rochester where I majored in Health Sciences. Following my undergraduate studies, I attended Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences where I obtained a Certificate in Surgical First Assisting. I then worked at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. While at Mayo Clinic, I would primarily assist surgeons in orthopaedic, neurologic, and general surgery procedures. Knowing that I wanted to be more involved with patient care, I went back to school to become a physician assistant. I completed my Master of Medical Sciences (Physician Assistant) degree at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO. My idea of care focuses on the needs of the patient. My plan is to listen to each patient and understand their goals. We will then work together to determine which treatment option is best for them. I am a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, South Dakota Academy of PAs, and Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, pheasant and waterfowl hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and playing golf.



Dr. Skelley believes that physicians have an obligation to advocate for their patients and not just diagnose and treat their conditions. In the current healthcare system, there are numerous access to care, insurance, and health policy issues that can affect your care. Physicians play an important role making sure their patients receive the best care possible. Dr. Skelley has published on this topic in the Orthopedics Journal and worked on a local, regional, and national level with policy makers to advocate for patient issues. 

Columbia Missouri MO CoMo orthopaedics orthopedics ortho sports medicine surgeon nathan skelley md

Dr. Skelley (far right) of Sanford Health advocating for patient care with national senators and representatives in Washington, D.C. at the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference. 



Dr. Skelley is an active clinician-scientist. He has published in the top orthopaedic journals on many different topics and has presented at regional and national meetings. He was featured by the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in a podcast (Episode 12: 3D Printing in Orthopaedics) that you can hear at this link.  This is a selected list of some of his publications:


  • Skelley, NW, Castile, RM, Canon, PC, Weber, CI, Lake, SP, and Brophy, RH. Regional Variation in the Mechanical and Microstructural Properties of the Human ACL. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2016 Nov;44(11):2892-2899. doi: 10.1177/0363546516654480

  • Wright, JO, Skelley, NW, Schur, RP, Castile, RM, Lake, SP, and Brophy, RH. Microstructural and Mechanical Properties of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament Comparing the Anterolateral and Posteromedial Bundles. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. October 2016. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.16.00032

  • Skelley, NW, Yarholar, LM, and Richardson, LC. Sport Pilot and Passenger Injuries Associated with Powered Parachutes: A Cross-Sectional Analysis. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. November 2016. doi: 10.3357/AMHP.4619.2016

  • Castile, RM, Skelley, NW, Babaei, B, Brophy, RH, and Lake, SP. Microstructural Properties and Mechanics Vary Between Bundles of the Human Anterior Cruciate Ligament During Stress-Relaxation. Journal of Biomechanics. December 2015. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.11.016.

  • Skelley, NW, Harwood, J., Hogan, M, Provencher, M, Milbrandt, T., and Kim, Young-Jo. The AAOS Resident Assembly: History and Development. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. August 2015. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-15-00287.

  • Skelley, NW, Keeney, J., and Nunley, R. The Importance of Resident Engagement in Health Policy. Orthopedics. July 2015. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20150804-03

  • Skelley, NW, Friedman, M., McGuinnes, M., Smith, C., Hillen, T., and Matava, M. Inter- and Intra-Observer Reliability Measuring Tibial Tubercle-Trochlear Groove Distance and Trochlea Dysplasia Between Musculoskeletal Radiologists and Orthopaedic Surgeons. American Journal of Sports Medicine. January 2015. doi: 10.1177/0363546514565768

  • Skelley, NW, Castile, RM, York, TE, Gruev, V, Lake, SP, and Brophy, RH. Differences in the microstructural properties of the anteromedial and posterolateral bundles of the ACL. American Journal of Sports Medicine. January 2015. doi: 10.1177/0363546514566192

  • Skelley, NW and Chamberlain, A. A Novel Reduction Technique for Elbow Dislocations. Orthopaedics. January 2015. doi:10.3928/01477447-20150105-05

  • Skelley, NW, Namdari, S., Chamberlain, A., Keener, J., Galatz, L., and Yamaguchi, K. Arthroscopic Debridement and Capsular Release for the Treatment of Shoulder Osteoarthritis. Arthroscopy. November 2014. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2014.08.025

  • Skelley, NW and Ricci, W. A Single-Person Reduction Technique for Ankle Fracture Dislocations. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. November 2014. doi: 10.1097/BOT.000000000000024

  • Skelley NW, McCormick J, Smith MV. In-Game Management of Common Sports Related Joint Dislocations. Sports Health. 2014;6(3):246-255. doi:10.1177/1941738113499721.

  • Namdari S, Skelley NW, Keener JD, Galatz LM, Yamaguchi K. What Is the Role of Arthroscopic Debridement for Glenohumeral Arthritis? A Critical Examination of the Literature. Arthroscopy. April 2013. 2013;29(8):1392-1398. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2013.02.022.

  • Skelley NW, Namdari S, Yamaguchi K. Alternatives to Total Shoulder Arthroplasty for the Young, Active Patient. Paris International Shoulder Course. February 2013.

  • Skelley NW, Tanaka MJ, Skelley LM, LaPorte DM. Medical Student Musculoskeletal Education: an Institutional Survey. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 2012;94(19):e146(1-7). doi:10.2106/JBJS.K.01286.

  • Skelley NW, Papp DF, Leu D, Sargent MC. Three Cases of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis in One Family. Orthopedics. 2011;34(8):e408-412. doi:10.3928/01477447-20110627-28.

  • Papp DF, Skelley NW, Sutter EG, Ji JH, Wierks CH, Belkoff SM, McFarland EG. Biomechanical Evaluation of Open Suture Anchor Fixation Versus Interference Screw for Biceps Tenodesis. Orthopedics. 2011;34(7):e275-278. doi:10.3928/01477447-20110526-04.

  • Skelley NW, Allen JG, Weiss ES, Arnaoutakis GJ, Patel ND, Conte JV. The Impact of Volume Reduction on Early and Long Term Outcomes in Surgical Ventricular Restoration for Severe Heart Failure. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2011;91(1):104-111. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.09.059.

  • Skelley NW, Papp DF, Lee RJ, Sargent MC. Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis with Severe Vitamin D Deficiency. Orthopaedics. 2010;33(12):921. doi:10.3928/01477447-20101021-27.

Awards and Honors

  • 2020 Missouri State Orthopaedic Association Service Award

  • 2016 Jeff Meyers Aerospace Research Award

  • 2016 Washington University in St. Louis - Orthopaedic Research Award

  • 2015 First Chairperson of the AAOS Resident Assembly

  • 2015 American Orthopaedic Association Emerging Leaders Program

  • 2011 Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society

  • 2009-2010 American Legion Boys Nation Honorary Speaker

  • 2010 Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Medical Student Research Award

  • 2007 Merrill National Scholar

  • 2006 Quill and Dagger Honor Society

  • 2004-2006 American Legion Boys Nation Counselor

  • 2004 Tylenol National Scholar

  • 2003 Coca-Cola National Scholar

  • 2003 Toyota Community Scholar

  • 2003 Meinig Family Cornell National Scholar

  • 2002 USA Today All Academic First Team Scholar

  • 2002 Discover Card National Tribute Award Scholar 

  • 2000 MENSA Society Member 

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