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About Me

Michael Q. Freehill, MD specializes in the treatment of shoulder and elbow injuries, with a special interest in adult joint reconstruction and arthroscopic surgery. He is a board-certified orthopedic sports medicine surgeon with 20+ years of expertise. He speaks both nationally and internationally, has authored numerous articles in professional publications, and has served as a course instructor for dozens of conferences.

Dr. Michael Freehill’s background

Anatomy and biomechanics always interested Dr. Freehill, and he initially intended to pursue a career as a physical therapist before considering medical school during his junior year in college. After completing an undergraduate degree in kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Freehill earned his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago.

“I was very fortunate to have great mentors during my undergraduate and medical education,” Dr. Freehill said. “I became very interested in orthopedics during the rotations that I did, and I had some mentors who were shoulder surgeons, which influenced me to specialize in shoulder surgery.”

After completing his residency training in orthopedic surgery at Loyola University Medical Center, Dr. Freehill went on to pursue a shoulder, elbow, and sports medicine fellowship at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. The shoulder joint interested him because of its complexity.

“There are so many interconnections in the shoulder; it has unique capabilities compared to those of other joints in the body,” he said. “When something goes awry in a person’s shoulder, it can be challenging to figure out what is wrong and come up with solutions for pain relief. That’s what keeps me engaged.”

Dr. Freehill also enjoys shoulder surgery because he treats a broad spectrum of patients ranging from age 12 to 100-plus. The specialty also lends itself to advanced surgical technologies and techniques, which continue to evolve over time.

His particular areas of expertise include minimally invasive shoulder surgery (arthroscopic surgery) using tiny incisions and tools. He also specializes in major shoulder joint reconstructions for patients with severe arthritis, anatomical problems, or fractures. “We can introduce a new shoulder that is life-changing for the patient. It’s rewarding to be able to do those things for people.”

Dr. Michael Freehill’s practice philosophy

His practice philosophy is compassionate and patient-centered. “Patients often ask, ‘if I were your family member, what would you recommend for me?’ My response is that I treat every patient like a family member. I will only recommend something that I know in my heart is right for them,” he said.

He also works with patients and their support systems to consider treatment recommendations in the context of the patient’s work and family life. “I am always trying to look at the patient’s perspective, so that I can understand how the recommendations I make can affect their lives,” Dr. Freehill said.

While Dr. Freehill enjoys surgery’s technical challenges, it’s what happens afterward that brings him the most satisfaction. “Seeing a patient a few months later, after I’ve done a significant surgery (or a nonsurgical treatment plan) coming in so much better than they were — that is incredibly fulfilling,” he said. “I’ve helped somebody achieve something that they didn’t think they could achieve.”

Outside of work, Dr. Freehill enjoys traveling with family, trying new recipes, brewing beer, playing golf, and learning to play the guitar.


Undergraduate Studies

Bachelor of Science | Kinesiology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — Champaign, IL

Medical School

Doctor of Medicine
Loyola University | Stritch School of Medicine — Chicago, IL


Resident in Orthopaedic Surgery
Loyola University Medical Center — Maywood, IL


Shoulder, Elbow, and Sports Medicine
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center — New York, NY

Professional Memberships

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
  • American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES)
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Minnesota Orthopaedic Society (MOS)


  • Voted a “Top Doctor” in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine: 2006–2022
  • Voted a “Top Doctor” in Minnesota Monthly: 2017–2022

Common Treatments

  • Shoulder Arthroscopy
  • Tendon Repair & Reconstruction
  • Ligament Repair & Reconstruction
  • Cartilage Restoration
  • Shoulder Replacement

My Team






Patient Education

Introduction to Shoulder Replacement Options

Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Stemmed Anatomic Shoulder Replacement 

Stemless Anatomic Shoulder Replacement

Dr. Freehill’s Protocols

Four Corner Stretch

Supine Program- Deltoid Focus

Supine Program-Rotator Cuff Focus 

Therapeutic Exercise

Conservative Impingement Syndrome

Conservative Rotator Cuff Tear Protocol

Conservative Massive Rotator Cuff Tear Protocol

Conservative Adhesive Capsulitis Protocol

Conservative Anterior Instability Protocol

Conservative MDI Swimmers Shoulder Protocol

Conservative Posterior Instability Protocol

Surgical Subacromial Decompression Protocol

Surgical Rotator Cuff Repair Protocol

Surgical Massive Rotator Cuff Repair Protocol

Surgical Biceps Tenodesis Protocol

Surgical Bankart Anterior Labral Repair Protocol

Surgical Total Shoulder Replacement Protocol

Surgical Hemiarthroplasty Protocol

Surgical Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Protocol

Surgical Scapulothoracic Decompression Protocol

Surgical Pect Major Repair Protocol

Surgical Superior Capsular Reconstruction Protocol

Core Four Shoulder Handout

Postop Exercises Handout


  • Ponce BA, Archie, AT, Freehill MQ, Suprascapular Nerve Injury Secondary to Cement Extravasation in an Anatomic Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: A Case Report, Journal of Shoulder and Elbow, In press
  • Churchill, RS, Chuinard, C, Wiater, JM, Friedman, R, Freehill, MQ, Jacobson, S, Spencer Jr, E, Holloway, GB, Wittstein, J, Lassiter, T, Smith, M, Blaine, T, Nicholson, GP, Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes of the Simpliciti Canal-Sparing Shoulder Arthroplasty System”, J Bone Joint Surg Am, April 2016, Volume 98-A, #7, 552-560.
  • McCarty LP 3rd, Buss DD, Datta MW, Freehill MQ, Giveans, MR, Complications Observed Following Labral or Rotator Cuff Repair Using Poly-L-Lactic Acid Implants. J Bone Joint Surg AM, 2013 Mar 20;95(6):507- 511.
  • Freehill, MQ Coracoid Impingement: Diagnosis and Treatment, Journal American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, April 2011
  • Izquierdo R, Voloshin I, Edwards S, Freehill MQ, Stanwood W, Wiater JM. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons clinical practice guidelines on: the treatment of glenohumeral joint arthritis. J Bone and Joint Surg AM, 2010 Jan: 93(2) 203-05
  • Izquierdo R, Voloshin I, Edwards S, Freehill MQ, Stanwood W, Wiater JM. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Treatment of glenohumeral arthritis. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2010 Jun;18(6):375-82.
  • Freehill, MQ, Buss, DD, Marra, G, Typical and Atypical Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Pitfalls. Instr Course Lect 2009; 58:447-457. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2009, Volume 58.
  • Freehill, MQ, How Do You Manage an Axillary Nerve Palsy After a Shoulder Dislocation? Curbside Consultation of the Shoulder- 49 Clinical Questions, GP Nicholson, MT Provencher, (editors), SLACK Incorporated, USA., 2008
  • Freehill, MQ, What Are the Indications for a Hemiarthroplasty Versus an Osteochondral Allograft in a Patient with a Locked Posterior Dislocation and Large Reverse Hill-Sachs Lesion? Curbside Consultation of the Shoulder- 49 Clinical Questions, GP Nicholson, MT Provencher, (editors), SLACK Incorporated, USA., 2008
  • Freehill, MQ, What Are the Indications for Manipulation Under Anesthesia Versus Arthroscopic Release in a Patient with Stiffness After Rotator Cuff Repair? And When Do You Consider Operative Intervention in a Patient With Idiopathic Adhesive Capsulitis? Curbside Consultation of the Shoulder- 49 Clinical Questions, GP Nicholson, MT Provencher, (editors), SLACK Incorporated, USA., 2008
  • Freehill, MQ, Conversion to Mini-Open Rotator Cuff Repair Following Attempted Arthroscopic Repair, Minimally Invasive Shoulder & Elbow Surgery, Levine WN, Blaine, TA, Ahmad, CS (edited by), New York, Informa Healthcare USA, Inc., 2007.
  • Freehill, MQ Computed Tomography Analysis of the Coracoid Process and Anatomic Structures of the Shoulder Following Arthroscopic Coracoid Decompression: A Cadaver Study, Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery March/April 2007; 16(2)
  • Freehill MQ, Pearls and Pitfalls for High School Baseball Players; Developing Your Skills and Preventing Injury, Baseball, The Magazine, 2007, Volume 3
  • Buss DD, Lynch GP, Meyer CP, Huber SM, Freehill MQ. Nonoperative management for in-season athletes with anterior shoulder instability. Am J Sports Med. 2004; 32(6):1430-33.
  • Freehill MQ, Levine WN. Treatment of Greater and Lesser Tuberosity Fractures. Thode HC, Levine WN, Bigliani LU (editors). In: Fractures of the Shoulder Girdle. New York: Marcel Dekker; 2003.
  • Freehill MQ, Marra, G. Evaluation and Treatment of Failed Rotator Cuff Repairs. Operative Techniques in Orthopaedics. 2003; 13 (4):269-276.
  • Freehill MQ, Harms DJ, Huber SM, Atlihan D, Buss DD. Poly-L-lactic acid tack synovitis after arthroscopic stabilization of the shoulder. Am J Sports Med. 2003; 31(5):643-7.
  • Ahmad CS, Freehill MQ, Blaine TA, Levine WN, Bigliani LU. Anteromedial capsular redundancy and labral deficiency in shoulder instability. Am J Sports Med. 2003; 31(2):247-52.
  • Ortiguera CJ, Freehill MQ, Buss DD. Arthroscopic treatment of the unstable mesoacromion. Techniques in Shoulder & Elbow Surgery. 2001; 2(3):219-224.
  • Green JR, Freehill MQ, Buss DD. Diagnosis and Treatment of Ganglion Cysts about the Shoulder. Techniques in Shoulder & Elbow Surgery. 2001; 2(2):100-105.
  • Freehill MQ, Blaine TA, Bigliani LU. Technique of Open Rotator Cuff Repair. Instr Course Lect. 2001; (50):43-52.
  • Freehill MQ, Masters C, Bigliani LU. Split pectoralis major tendon transfer for the treatment of serratus anterior palsy. Techniques in Shoulder & Elbow Surgery. 2001; 2(2):92-99.
  • Freehill MQ, Bigliani LU. The ten commandments of total shoulder arthroplasty. Orthopedics Special Edition 2000; 6(2).
  • Freehill MQ, Hopkinson W, Wezeman F. Treatment of full thickness articular defects: autologous chonodrocyte transplantation versus abrasion arthroplasty and the effect of FGF-2 on healing. Pro Ortho Res Soc 1998; (23):794.

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