Nels Sampatacos MD

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Accepting New Patients

Board Certification

American Board of Orthopedic Surgery


Dr. Nels Sampatacos MD, received his medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Washington /Harborview Medical Center. After his final year as chief resident, Dr. Sampatacos completed a fellowship in sports medicine, arthroscopy, and reconstructive surgery at the prestigious Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI) in Van Nuys, Calif.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Sampatacos has expertise and a special interest in minimally invasive, arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, hip and knee, shoulder replacement surgery and surgical orthopedic sports medicine. With expertise and subspecialty training in both shoulder surgery and orthopedic sports medicine surgery, Dr. Sampatacos is able to provide surgical solutions for a full-spectrum of sports-related injuries and all operative conditions in the shoulder. Furthermore, he works very closely with The Polyclinic team of non-operative sports medicine physicians to determine when non-surgical treatment options offer a better solution.

Commonly Performed Procedures

  • Shoulder (rotator cuff, SLAP and Bankart/labral tear repairs; dislocations and instability surgery; replacements; release for frozen shoulder)
  • Knees (Meniscal surgery; ligament reconstruction; dislocation and instability surgery)
  • Hips (repair of hip labral tears, hip impingement)
  • Ankles (repair of chronic ankle instability, Achilles tendon repairs)
  • Repair of fractures of the upper and lower extremities

Personal Interests

In his spare time, Dr. Sampatacos enjoys teaching and learning photography, cycling, weight lifting, skiing, traveling, spontaneous day trips throughout the Pacific Northwest, and spending time with his wife and daughter.

Practice Philosophy

"I believe there is just as much wisdom, if not more, in understanding when not to operate as there is in knowing when to proceed with surgery. My philosophy involves listening to patients and engaging them in conversation, not only for the purpose of identifying their injury or ailment, but more importantly, to understand the functional implications their condition has on their overall quality of life. Then, after clearly explaining the pros and cons of various treatment options and providing my best recommendations, I believe in arriving at an individualized treatment plan together with the patient. From the professional athlete to the weekend warrior, one of my greatest pleasures is successfully returning an injured athlete to a high-level of competition. My goal is to restore form and function in a caring and compassionate environment, allowing my patients to quickly return to an active and healthy lifestyle."

Clinical Research

Current areas of study include biomechanical testing of new arthroscopic techniques to address common biceps tendon and rotator cuff injuries.

Teaching Involvement

On several occasions, Dr. Sampatacos has been invited to teach and perform arthroscopic surgical demonstrations at courses for the University of Washington orthopedic surgery residents.

Professional Involvement

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons AAOS), Arthroscopy Association of Northern America (AANA), The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM)

Community Involvement

During his time in Southern California and Washington, Dr. Sampatacos has served as team physician and assisted in team coverage at both the high school and collegiate level.



Below is a video featuring Dr. Sampatacos. Watch more videos from The Polyclinic on our YouTube channel.

Meet Dr. Nels Sampatacos

Dr. Sampatacos explains why he chose to go into orthopedics, the scope of his practice, and the collaborative work he does with the non-operative orthopedic physicians at The Polyclinic.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Sampatacos NE, Gillette B, Snyder SJ, Henninger H. Biomechanics of a novel technique for suprapectoral intreosseous biceps tenodesis. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2016;25(1):149-57.
  • Sampatacos NE, Getelman MH. MPFL Reconstruction Using a Modified “Reverse Loop” Technique. Arthrosc Tech. 2013;2(2):e175-81.
  • Clark RR, Dierckman B, Sampatacos NE, Snyder SJ. Biomechanical performance of traditional arthroscopic knots versus slippage-proof knots. Arthroscopy 2013;29(7):1175-81.
  • Sampatacos N, Getelman MH, Henninger H. Biomechanical Comparison of Two Techniques for Arthroscopic Suprapectoral Biceps Tenodesis: Interference Screw versus Implant-Free Intraosseous Tendon Fixation. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2014;23(11):1731-9.

Online Presentations

  • Antkowiak TT, Sampatacos NE, Snyder SJ; VuMedi; Arthroscopic Suprapectoral Intraosseous Biceps Tenodesis (SPIBiT). Uploaded 2013.
  • Sampatacos NE, Snyder SJ; VuMedi; Arthroscopic PASTA and Subscapularis Repair with a Mini-Open Biceps Tenodesis. Uploaded 2012.
  • Sampatacos NE, Snyder SJ; VuMedi; SCOI 11-Step Protocol for Rotator Cuff Reconstruction Using an Acellular Human Dermal Matrix. Uploaded 2012.
  • Sampatacos NE, Snyder SJ; VuMedi; Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Reconstruction Using an Acellular Human Dermal Matrix Allograft and a Bone Polymer/Biocomposite Implant to Fill a Bony Defect and Provide Immediate Anchor Fixation. Uploaded 2012.
  • Sampatacos NE, Snyder SJ; VuMedi; Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair of a Complex L-Shaped Supraspinatus Tear with Significant Residual Tendon Remaining on the Footprint. Uploaded 2012.
  • Sampatacos NE, Getelman MH; VuMedi; Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Using a Modified Mason-Allen Suture Resulting in a Linked Anchor Construct. Uploaded 2012.
  • Sampatacos NE, Getelman MH; VuMedi; SCOI 8-Point Subacromial Decompression: A Bloodless Approach. Uploaded 2012.
  • Sampatacos NE, Getelman MH; VuMedi; Dual-Limb Allograft MPFL Reconstruction Using A Limb Specific Tensioning Technique. Uploaded 2012.
  • Sampatacos NE, Getelman MH; VuMedi; Arthroscopic Management of the Thrower's Shoulder with Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit. Uploaded 2012.