Winston J. Warme, MD

Chief, Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Medical School
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Brooke Army Medical Center
Madigan Army Medical Center Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program
Sports Medicine:
John A. Feagin West Point Sports Medicine Fellowship
American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Traveling Fellowship
Board Certification
Orthopaedic Surgery Certified

Dr. Warme is a UW associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine who specializes in shoulder and elbow surgery, as well as sports medicine. He evaluates patients with shoulder, elbow and knee problems. 

Patient Care Philosophy

I seek to help patients expeditiously return to top form and pursue the activities they enjoy. I believe that successful medical or surgical treatment and rehabilitation requires a team approach, with the patient being a key player. I will provide patients with an accurate diagnosis and the current information to help them make an informed decision (regarding which type of treatment to choose). Then we will make the journey together through the treatment and rehabilitation. If there is a viable way to manage a condition without surgery, we will try that first.

Clinical Interests
  • Clavicle, shoulder and elbow fractures
  • Shoulder, elbow and knee cartilage tears, as well as instability problems
  • Post traumatic shoulder and elbow stiffness
  • Rotator cuff tendon tears: repair and reconstruction
  • Acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joint repairs and reconstructions
  • Tendon transfers around the shoulder
  • Winging scapula
  • Shoulder and elbow arthritis
  • Shoulder and elbow replacement surgery including reverse shoulder arthroplasty.

Make an Appointment

206.520.5000 | 877.520.5000

Surgeries and Diagnosis

Common Problems Treated

  • Shoulder, elbow and knee pain, stiffness, catching, popping, locking, weakness and instability including:
  • Labral, Bankart or capsular tears of the shoulder.
  • Loose bodies or osteochondritis dessicans of the elbow and knee.
  • Ligament or cartilage tears of the shoulder, elbow or knee (including meniscus).
  • Torn rotator cuff, pectoralis major and biceps tendons at the shoulder or elbow.
  • Acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular separations and instability.
  • Fractures of the shoulder (clavicle, scapula, glenoid, humerus) and elbow (humerus, ulna, radius).
  • Shoulder and elbow arthritis.
  • Scapular winging, medial or lateral.
  • Continued shoulder and elbow problems after failed surgeries.

Common Surgeries

  • Arthroscopic or open techniques to treat instability and repair Bankart, labral or capsular tears in the shoulder.
  • Manage shoulder “impingement” with subacromial decompressions, and repair or debride rotator cuff tendon tears; with tendon transfers as needed.
  • Remove loose bodies, drill or resurface osteochondritis dessicans lesions of the elbow and knee with osteochondral autograft transfers as needed.
  • Reconstruct or repair ligaments of the shoulder, elbow (LCL/MCL) or knee (ACL).
  • Repair or resect unstable cartilage tears of the shoulder, elbow or knee (including meniscus).
  • Repair torn pectoralis major, triceps and biceps tendons at the shoulder or elbow.
  • Open reduction and internal fixation of shoulder, elbow and forearm fractures.
  • Acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular repairs, reconstructions, and resection arthroplasties.
  • Management of shoulder arthritis with arthroscopic, minimally invasive, conventional and reverse total joint arthroplasty or hemiarthroplasty.
  • Management of elbow arthritis with arthroscopic, minimally invasive as well as conventional total joint arthroplasty or hemiarthroplasty.
  • The treatment of more rare conditions such as scapular winging and failed surgeries with tendon transfers, revisions and fusions.

Selected Publications:

  • Warme, WJ. The Triangle of Pain; Understanding Symptoms that Accompany Sternoclavicular Pathology. University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Research Report, Discoveries 2020.
  • Matsen FA 3rd, Whitson, A, Jackins, S, Neradilek MB, Warme, WJ, Hsu, JE; Ream and Run and Total Shoulder: Patient and Shoulder Characteristics of Five Hundred and Forty-four Concurrent Cases. International Orthopaedics; Sept. 2019. PMID: 31240359.
  • Mills, G; Warme, WJ; Iatrogenic bipolar clavicular instability managed with clavicular lengthening and sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular stabilization: a case report. J Shoulder Elbow Surg (2018) 27, e308–e312.
  • Pastor, AJ, Boachie-Adjei, YD, Warme, WJ. Safety and Efficacy of Reconstruction of the Unstable Sternoclavicular Joint: A Case Series of 12 Patients. University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Research Report 2014.
  • Coulter, JM., Warme, WJ. Spinal Accessory Nerve Palsy in a Rock Climber. Wilderness Environ Med. ;26(3):384-6. pii: S1080-6032(15)00144-1. September 2015. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2015.03.028. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Warme WJ, Papadonikolakis A. The Use of PCL Drilling Aiming Device to Increase Safety in Reconstruction of Unstable Sternoclavicular Joints. Techniques in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Sept 2012: 13 (3); 142-144.
  • Gilmer BB, Constock BA, Jette JL, Warme WJ, Jackins SE, Matsen FA 3rd. The Prognosis for Improvement in Comfort and Function After the Ream-and-Run Arthroplasty for Glenohumeral Arthritis: An analysis of 176 Consecutive Cases. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Am. 2012 July 18; 94(14):e1021-9.
  • Saltzman MD, Mercer DM, Bertelsen A, Warme WJ, Matsen FA 3rd. Bilateral Posterior Sternoclavicular Dislocations. Radiology Case Reports. [Online] 4:256, 2009.1.
  • Warme, W.J.; Whitaker, D.C. Pectoralis Major Tendon Avulsion from Rappelling. Military Medicine, 169(2): 151-154, Feb 2004.
  • Warme WJ, Brooks D. The Effect of Circumferential Taping on Flexor Pulley Failure in Rock Climbers. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2000 Sept-Oct; 28(5): 674-678.
  • (PubMed Listing)

Dr. Warme is interested in optimizing surgical techniques for a variety of conditions which he continues to investigate and has published on sternoclavicular joint reconstructions, shoulder arthroplasty, clavicle (collarbone) lengthening and corrective surgeries for complex deformities, shoulder instability, as well as advanced techniques in arthroscopic surgery. He developed and directs an annual arthroscopic cadaver lab for his residents and fellows and has studied how they acquire confidence and competence. As a climber he is interested in finger injuries that climbers sustain and has developed a device and techniques to manage these injuries without surgery. As a former baseball player, he is helping develop a device to protect catcher's fingers from injury and testing its effectiveness.

Ultimately, Dr. Warme is interested in helping find the best treatment and rehabilitation regimens for different conditions, which will minimize the patients’ pain and recovery time. This includes a focus on clinical outcomes research of reconstructive procedures in the shoulder, especially the "Ream and Run".

With rock climbing as a passion, Dr. Warme has a particular interest in investigating different arthroscopic knots and the latest generation of high-strength sutures. 

Dr. Warme is also committed to being the best teacher he can be, and discovering time-efficient methods of teaching the art and science of orthopaedic surgery to fellows, residents and medical students.

The Athletes Shoulder, Leading Edge Surgical Repair

In the video above, The Athletes Shoulder, Leading Edge Surgical Repair, Dr. Warme discusses innovative new surgical procedures developed in the lab and discusses how these new techniques helped two very active athletes with broken collarbones return to sport.

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