ASES Foundation

Frederick A. Matsen, III, MD

Past President of ASES: 1990-1991

Dr. Rick Matsen was introduced to the world of shoulder surgery in 1975 by Dr. Charles Neer, who generously hosted the young Matsen family in his home during a three-week “total immersion” experience in this new specialty. Dr. Matsen then returned to the University of Washington, where he established the first academic shoulder practice in the Northwest U.S. In 1988, this program became the home of one of the first year–long shoulder and elbow fellowships in the U.S., which has helped launch the careers of over 50 clinically and academically productive shoulder surgeons practicing across the country. Dr. Matsen was a founding member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons and served as this organization’s President in 1991. In 2003, he became the inaugural holder of the Douglas T. Harryman II/DePuy Endowed Chair in Shoulder Research, named in honor of his first fellow and close partner, the late Dr. Doug Harryman. Drs. Matsen and Harryman received the Neer Research award for their work quantitating glenohumeral laxity in normal shoulder – a study that involved their attaching radiofrequency sensors to pins drilled in their humerus and scapula.

Dr. Matsen has published over 250 papers on the full range of shoulder topics, including instability, rotator cuff disease, fractures, chondrolysis, arthritis, failed surgery, conflicts of interest, surgical technique, imaging, the ream and run procedure, and periprosthetic infections from Cutibacterium. His books include “Practical Evaluation and Management of the Shoulder”, “The Shoulder: A Balance of Mobility and Stability”, “Shoulder Surgery: Principles and Procedures”, and “Rockwood and Matsen, The Shoulder” for which the 6th edition will be published in 2020. Dr. Matsen also writes the Shoulder Arthritis Blog,, which now has over 2,300 posts on the full range of shoulder topics, with over 1,600,000-page views from over 100 countries.

Dr. Matsen has been on the faculty of the University of Washington since 1974 and continues his busy practice of reconstructive surgery, teaching, and research. He treasures his active membership in the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons and enjoys reflecting on how remarkably this organization has developed since its inception in 1982.

Support Critical Research and Specialized Education
Scroll to Top