Joseph R. Donnelly, M.D.
“I feel it is important to establish, maintain, and appreciate the relationship with each of my patients.”
- Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
- Director, ValleyCare Health System, Sports Medicine Program, Pleasanton, California
- Board-Certified, Orthopedic Sports Medicine
- Board-Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. Donnelly is a native of San Francisco, CA. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Santa Clara University and a medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri. He then completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco.
He has a special interest in sports medicine, with expertise in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee. He is experienced in minimally invasive and tissue sparing surgery, including all-inside ACL reconstruction and arthroscopic fixation of shoulder rotator cuff tears. He is the team orthopedic physician for Livermore High School and Las Positas Junior College, and is currently the director of the sports medicine program at ValleyCare Health System in Pleasanton. In addition, Dr. Donnelly spent four years as an orthopedic surgeon for the Oakland A's.
Dr. Donnelly also specializes in joint replacement surgery and orthopedic trauma.
When not practicing medicine he enjoys time with his wife and five children.
Read about common treatments that Dr. Donnelly provides:
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons -- current news and information in the world of orthopaedic surgery
- Dr. Donnelly's Personal AAOS Profile -- browse the Health Library option for information on your specific condition including diagnosis, treatment, and injury prevention
- ValleyCare Sports Medicine -- additional resources from ValleyCare
- Surgical Animations -- animated descriptions of several arthroscopic techniques offered by Dr. Donnelly. Search for and view All Inside ACL RetroConstruction, Rotator Cuff Repair using SpeedBridge, and Labral Repair of the Shoulder
- Webster Ortho Patient Information & Education -- Webster's animated education resources
"My knee is feeling 100% better thanks to Dr. Donnelly." – Alberto N.
"I had a slap and bankart proceedure performed by Dr. Donnelly on October 28th, 2010. By March 26th I was back on the wrestling mat and qualified for nationals. Thank you, Dr. Donnelly. You are amazing." – N. Gaither
"I visited Dr. Donnelly for shoulder pain and he took the time to review my x-rays and give me a comprehensive diagnosis and explain my options for two possibilities; tendonitis or rotator cuff tear. Rather than advise surgery, he suggested treating for tendonitis with a cortisone shot and physical therapy. The shot provided instant relief and I now have free movement without excruciating pain whereas before, simple tasks like taking my shirt off was a challenge. Thank you for the relief!" – T. Branson
"I hurt my knee when I fell skiing, and called Webster Ortho as we returned from Tahoe, because my daughter had previously been seen by Dr. Salyapongse and we were happy with him. I got an appointment in Pleasanton for the very next day, and was assessed by Jaimie, had x-rays taken there in the office, and was given a protective brace and orders for an MRI. After my MRI, I had a second appointment in San Ramon with Dr. Salyapongse who reviewed my images and gave me the bad news that I had torn my ACL and my medial meniscus. He didn't want to work with me, though, he felt that Dr. Donnelly would be a better choice, and arranged for me to fit into Dr. Donnelly's schedule for the next day. I met with Dr. Donnelly in the Livermore office, and he concurred with Dr. Salyapongse's opinion and discussed my possible options. Dr. Donnelly's explanations of my injury were very clear, and his descriptions of the surgery were thorough and easy to understand. Even though I had been squeezed into his tight schedule, he took the time to be sure that I understood all of my options, and gave me reading material to consider before making my decision about having surgery. He also introduced me to his assistant, Lauren Adler, and his surgery coordinator, Jen. At all three offices, the staff was so kind and helpful. Jen, in particular, helped me with my pre-op needs and scheduling - she was great! My surgery was successful and I've had very little pain. One great part of the surgery was a femoral block (a tube delivering local anesthesia to my knee) that stayed in place until I had my first follow up appointment... this kept me from feeling much pain - important for me, since I'm allergic to narcotic pain relievers, and could take only ibuprofen and acetaminophen! I've had several questions and concerns since my surgery, and all of them have been kindly answered by the office staff, and my healing seems to be going very well!" – J. Gates
"Dr. Donnelly's staff was friendly and courteous. He was on time and listened to my history. I felt confident in his responses and will recommend him to others." – E. Giovanetti
"I have had only great results with Dr. Donnelly and Webster. My rotator cuff surgery in 2007 was wonderful and I feel like I have a new arm! I have since, gone back for treatment for my other arm for pain associated with arthritis and received shots for the pain and it has helped immensely. I am so grateful to my physician for telling me about the group and specifically, Dr. Donnelly." – J. Vidal
"From my first phone call for an appointment to meeting w/ the receptionist, Jen (scheduler), Lauren (PA) & Dr. Donnelly, each person treated me w/ respect & kindness. I have seen two other orthopods & by far your group was the best. So good in fact I cancelled my surgery with one of the other doctors. I have had, for personal reasons, to change my surgery 3 times. Each time Jen & Lauren were very understanding. I will go into my surgery very confident of a very successful outcome. I would recommend Dr. Donnelly to everyone." – R. Dart
"After putting off the inevitable for 10 years, I went to Dr. Donnelly for Rotator Cuff Surgery in January 2011. From the minute I walked in, I felt comfortable. Dr. Donnelly explained my tears and which surgical technique he would use to repair them. Prior to the procedure, his office also sent me a video of the procedure. He repaired "one of the largest tears" he had ever seen through the Arthroscope! My follow-up appointments have been informative and Dr. Donnelly is always extremely pleasant with a positive attitude. He's awesome and I would recommend him to anyone!" – T. Blueitt
"I fell and tore my meniscus in two places in Oct. of 2009. We left for Mexico shortly afterwards (unaware of the damage) when we returned 6 months later it had begun to heal but was still hurting a bit. Dr. Donnelly took an MRI and discovered the problem. He explained my options and was so patient and caring. I would recommend him to anyone who needs a good orthopedic doctor." – J. Santi
"Persistent pain in my right should for I don't know how long, gradually getting worse until driving and reaching were sometimes excruciating and I would often wake in the night from the pain. One visit and a shot in the bursa later and I am a new woman... even if I have to repeat the shot periodically, it has made a huge difference to me." - G Morden