Richard Nicolay III, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon with Fellowship Training in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery

Phone: 847-832-6677

Board Eligible
  • Orthopedic Surgery

Practice Locations

Affiliated Hospitals

  • Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
  • Illinois Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery Center
  • NorthShore University HealthSystem

Areas of Expertise

  • Injuries of the Shoulder, Elbow, Hip, & Knee
  • Shoulder Replacement and Shoulder Arthritis Management
  • Sports-related Injuries and Return-to-Play Management
  • Advanced Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction and Other Ligaments
  • Advanced Treatment of Meniscus and Cartilage Knee Injuries
  • Shoulder Dislocations and Stabilization Procedures
  • Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
  • Injuries to the Proximal and Distal Biceps Tendon
  • Hip Arthroscopy for Femoroacetabular Impingement and Labral Tears
  • Pediatric Sports Injuries
  • General Fracture Care


Dr. Richard Nicolay specializes in the treatment of injuries to the large joints, including the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee. He has expertise in sports-related injuries and shoulder replacements.

Dr. Nicolay completed his orthopedic surgery residency training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and trained in pediatrics at Anne and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and trauma at John H. Stroger Cook County Hospital of Chicago. While at Northwestern, he worked closely with the Chicago Blackhawks, volunteered as a physician for the Chicago Marathon, and trained under past and present head team physicians for the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Cubs.

At the completion of his 5-year residency, he was elected to serve as a Chief Resident and was awarded the Brian Hartigan, M.D. Memorial Award for demonstrating compassionate care, clinical excellence, and dedication to teaching. He then completed his fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, the nation’s #1 hospital for orthopedics, where he completed advanced training in sports medicine and shoulder surgery and served as a fellow team physician for the New York Rangers and New York Liberty.

He trained directly with the team physicians for the New York Giants, Nets, Knicks, Mets, and Red Bulls as well as Team USA Basketball and Swimming. Dr. Nicolay traveled abroad to complete a mini-fellowship in advanced shoulder replacement techniques, working with leaders of the European Society for Surgery of the Shoulder and the Elbow in Switzerland and France.

He serves as a reviewer for the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, and Arthroscopy Journal. He was the co-recipient of the first-place overall research poster award at the 2022 American Academy for Orthopedic Surgeons Annual meeting.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family, fishing, watersports, woodworking, drawing, and photography.

I care for my patients as I would a family member. My goal is to educate my patients on their diagnosis, discuss all the available treatment options, and choose a treatment plan that is supported by science and best aligns with my patients’ goals.”

Richard Nicolay III, MD


Medical School

Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN- Doctor of Medicine


Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL- Orthopaedic Surgery


Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY- Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery

Affiliations and Associations

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2015 – present
  • Editorial Board Member, Arthroscopy Journal, 2021 – present
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America, 2021 – present
  • American Orthopaedics Society for Sports Medicine, 2021 – present
  • Mid-America Orthopaedic Association, 2019 – present
  • Scoliosis Research Society, 2017 – present
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, 2015 – present

View Dr. Nicolay's Media


ACL Injuries on WGN with IBJI's Richard Nicolay, MD

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