J. Todd Lawrence, MD, PhD

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J. Todd Lawrence, MD, PhD, is an attending pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at CHOP dedicated to the care of high-level pediatric and adolescent athletes.

Areas of Expertise: ACL reconstruction in patients with open growth plates including All Epiphyseal ACL reconstruction that does not injure the growth plates, Arthroscopy, Athletic injuries in the knee, Athletic injuries in the shoulder, Athletic injuries in the elbow, Athletic injuries in the ankle, Meniscus repair, Pediatric fractures and trauma, Shoulder dislocations and instability repair, Sports medicine, Treatment of cartilage lesions (OCD lesions), Patella dislocation and instability repair, Elbow injuries, throwing and the overhead athlete
Locations: Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care; Specialty Care, Abington; Specialty Care, Virtua; Middleman Family Pavilion

Appointments, Referrals and Video Visits: 215-590-1527


J. Todd Lawrence, MD, PhD, is an attending orthopaedic surgeon with the Division of Orthopaedics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and an assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Lawrence obtained his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. While there, he also earned a PhD in cell and molecular biology. He completed both his internship in general surgery and residency in orthopaedic surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  

Dr. Lawrence further specialized in pediatric sports surgery with a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and then a second fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC. At Duke, Dr. Lawrence cared for two NCAA tournament championship teams including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship team.

Dr. Lawrence has a highly specialized skill set and is dedicated to the care of high-level pediatric and adolescent athletes. He has particular expertise in the arthroscopic treatment of injuries to the knee, shoulder, elbow and ankle. He helped develop a now common technique of reconstructing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in patients who are still growing and developing that does not disturb the patient's growth plates. He cares for patients at CHOP locations in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Dr. Lawrence's research interests center around determining the optimal treatment strategies for a number of sports-related injuries in children. With his background in basic science research, he is working to develop a novel stem cell and cartilage repair strategy for adolescents. With collaborators from Drexel University, he is working to translate that to clinical practice.

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


General Surgery - Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


Orthopaedic Surgery - Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


Pediatric Orthopaedics - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery - Duke University, Durham, NC

Board Certification

Orthopaedic Sports Medicine – American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery – American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Undergraduate Degree

BA - University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Graduate Degree

PhD - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Conditions Treated

Departments and Services

Research Interests

  • Clinical outcomes and determining the optimal treatment for young patients with ACL tears and cartilage lesions
  • Developing new and improved strategies for cartilage restoration and meniscus healing
  • Methods for enhancing orthopaedic fellow, resident and medical student surgical education and training




Greenberg, E. M., Lawrence, J. T. R., Fernandez-Fernandez, A., & McClure, P.: "Humeral Retrotorsion and Glenohumeral Motion in Youth Baseball Players Compared With Age-Matched Non-throwing Athletes." The American Journal of Sports Medicine 2016.

Dua K, O'Hara N, Brighton B, Lawrence JT, Mehlman C, Shrader W, Smith B, Sponseller P, Otsuka NY: "Variation Amongst Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeons When Diagnosing and Treating Pediatric and Adolescent Distal Radius Fractures" Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics December 2016.

Cruz AI, Steere JT, Lawrence JT: "Medial Epicondyle Fractures in the Pediatric Overhead Athlete" J Pediatric Orthop 36(1): 56-62, June 2016.

Cruz AI Jr, Lakomkin N, Fabricant PD, Lawrence JT: Physeal Disruption During ACL Reconstruction in Skeletally Immature Patients: Does Independent Femoral Tunnel Drilling Place the Physis at Greater Risk? Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 4(6), June 2016. PMCID: 27331075

Aristides I. Cruz, Jr., MD, J. Todd R. Lawrence, MD, PhD, Theodore J. Ganley, MD: Prone Positioning for Open Reduction Internal Fixation of Pediatric Medial Epicondyle Fractures. The University of Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Journal 26: 34, June 2016.

Fabricant PD, Lakomkin N, Cruz Jr AI, Spitzer E, J Todd R Lawrence, Robert G Marx: Early ACL Reconstruction in Children Leads to Less Meniscal and Articular Cartilage Damage when Compared With Conservative or Delayed Treatment. Journal of ISAKOS Page: 10-15, February 2016 Notes: DOI: 10-1136/jisakos-2015-000012.


Gornitzky AL, Lott A, Yellin JL, Fabricant PD, Lawrence JT, Ganley TJ. Sport-Specific Yearly Risk and Incidence of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears in High School Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Am J Sports Med. 2015 Dec 11.

Greenberg EM, Fernandez-Fernandez A, Lawrence JT, McClure P. The Development of Humeral Retrotorsion and Its Relationship to Throwing Sports. Sports Health. 2015 Nov;7(6):489-96.

Matuszewski P, Dombroski D, Lawrence JTR, Esterhai JL, Mehta S: Prospective Intraoperative Syndesmotic Evaluation During Treatment of Ankle Fractures: Stress External Rotation Versus Lateral Fibular Stress. The Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 29(4): 157-60, April 2015.


Greenberg EM, Greenberg ET, Ganley TJ, Lawrence JTR: Strength and Functional Performance Recovery After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Preadolescent Athletes. Sports Health 4: 309-12, July 2014.

Posters and Presentations


Brusalis CM, Lawrence JT, Ranade S, Kerr JC, Hiller D, Pulos N, Wells L, Ganley TJ: "Can a Novel, Low-Cost Simulation Model be Used to Teach Anterior Cruciate Ligament Graft Preparation?" Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics E-Poster Presentation at 6th Annual CHOP Quality & Patient Safety Day. Philadelphia, PA May 2016 Notes: E Poster Presentation at 2017 EPOSNA, Barcelona, Spain. May 2017.

Editorial and Academic Positions

Editorial positions

2009-2015, Guest editor, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Symposium on Emerging Research Ideas in Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Medicine
2006-2007, Editor, University of Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Journal, 2007 Edition

Academic positions

2009-2010, Director, Resident and Fellow Sports Medicine Bioskills Lab (Fresh Tissue/Cadaver), Duke University
2015-present, Director of Resident Education, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Division of Orthopaedics