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Dr. Clifford R. Wheeless, III

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Princeton University
Medical School
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Duke University Medical Center
Shoulder Replacement Surgery & Total Joint Arthroplasty (Hip & Knee replacement) as well as complex joint infections
Board Certifications
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery & American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Originally from Baltimore, Dr. Wheeless completed his undergraduate degree at Princeton University in 1988 and attended medical school at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Upon graduation in 1992, he began residency training at Duke University Medical Center where, for his honors thesis, he began work on 'Wheeless' Online Textbook of Orthopaedics,' a publication widely accepted today as the "best illustrated, cross-referenced and organized" online resource for orthopedic information (quote from the "Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery"). Dr. Wheeless donated the rights to the over 11,000 page book, described as "excellent" and given five stars by the American Academy of Orthopaedics, to Duke university in 2004. He remains Chief Editor of the site which is updated daily. The most comprehensive and dynamic site of its kind, it attracts over half a million visitors a month and can be viewed at:

Well suited to write the most referenced text on Orthopedics, Dr. Wheeless scored within the top three percent in the nation on his medical board exams. He continues to stay informed and involved in the daily advancements made in his field as well as those concerning all areas of medicine. Most recently he has become a recognized leader and expert on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a virulent infection of concern to all surgeons and potential surgical patients. His lecture on the topic, presented at the request of Health Management Associates (HMA- a medical corporation which owns and operates over 40 health care facilities in the Southeast) is available for viewing online at

Dr. Wheeless enjoys and performs all types of orthopedic surgery but is renowned for his expertise in total joint arthroplasty (Hip and Knee replacement), shoulder replacement surgery, as well as complex joint infections. He founded Orthopaedic Specialists of North Carolina in 2001 and practices at REX Wakefield, Granville Medical Center, and Duke Raleigh Hospital.

Outside of his practice, textbook editing, publishing and lecturing, Dr. Wheeless relishes spending time at home with his wife Carol and their two sons on their horse farm. With help, the family raises a variety of animals in addition to horses including cows, goats, pigs, chickens, and guinea hens.

Hospital Affiliations

  • Duke Raleigh
  • Granville Medical Center
  • Rex Wakefield

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I have multiple problems mostly dealing with arthritis all over thus I have seen multiple specialists at OrthoNC. I have been pleased with the efforts of each trying to lessen my pain from the neck/shoulder area to the hops, knees and feet. There is a specialist for every problem. Just today my primary doctor wants me to see a pain specialist. I said "make the referral to OrthoNC pain specialist". So thanks again for providing for my needs
919-562-9410Fax: 919-562-9425Make an appointmentUrgent Care 9am – 9pm, every day