Rochester, Minnesota


SanchezSotelo.Joaquin@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, M.D., Ph.D., is a Mayo Clinic physician-scientist who has several areas of interest in orthopedic research. His research interests include surgical conditions affecting the shoulder and elbow joints, the application of artificial intelligence to shoulder and elbow surgery, and strategies in individualized medicine. Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo is specifically interested in joint replacement surgery of the shoulder and the elbow, rotator cuff tears, and fibrosis leading to joint stiffness.

Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo's artificial intelligence-based research uses machine learning and deep learning to better understand and improve shoulder and elbow surgery. His individualized medicine research aims to identify people who are at risk of suboptimal outcomes after orthopedic surgery and develop adjuvant therapies to improve such outcomes.

Focus areas

  • Advances in shoulder replacement. Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo designs innovative implants and advanced surgical technologies, such as mixed reality and robotics.
  • Elbow replacement. Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo's elbow replacement research includes developing strategies to improve implant durability.
  • Rotator cuff repair. Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo's research in this area is focused on contemporary minimally invasive arthroscopic solutions and salvage procedures, such as tendon transfers, for irreparable cuff tears.
  • Fractures and dislocations affecting the shoulder or elbow. This area of research also includes management of complications.
  • Joint stiffness and fibrosis after injuries or surgery.

Significance to patient care

Replacement of the shoulder and elbow joints has continued to advance substantially, especially with the development of reverse shoulder replacement and improvements to implant design, performance and longevity. Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo's contributions to the development of preoperative planning software, patient-specific instrumentation or implants, mixed reality, navigation, and robotics allow more-individualized surgery for each patient.

Artificial intelligence holds promise in many areas of shoulder and elbow surgery, including the analysis of big data, the development of predictive algorithms and the understanding of association patterns not discovered to date. Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo's research on automatic analysis of diagnostic images and tools to predict outcomes after shoulder or elbow surgery are just two examples of what machine learning can offer today.

Individualized medicine represents another major step in the field of orthopedic surgery. Different patients experience various outcomes after having the same surgical interventions. This is likely associated with gene-related individual predispositions to healing responses. Dr. Sanchez-Sotelo's risk profiling studies will help physicians and scientists identify patients who are at risk of suboptimal outcomes. He is developing adjuvant therapies to better treat these patients so they will experience the best possible outcomes. This line of research will have a major impact for optimizing rotator cuff healing and decreasing the risk of stiffness after injuries or surgery.

Professional highlights

  • Associate editor, Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2012-present
  • Chair, Mayo Clinic Orthopedic Research Review Committee, 2006-present
  • Best poster presentation for "Shoulder Arthroplasty in Patients with Juvenile Inflammatory Arthritis: Long-Term Outcomes," European Society for Surgery of the Shoulder and the Elbow 29th Congress, 2021
  • Course of the Year, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development
    • Mayo Clinic "Teach the Teachers" Elbow Course: The Milestone Edition, 2021
    • Mayo Clinic Course on Shoulder Tendon Transfer and Complex Rotator Cuff Repair, 2018
  • Finalist, Richard B. Caspari Award, International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, 2021
  • Outstanding Digital Educator, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, 2021
  • Best oral presentation for "Late Cuff Tears After Anatomic Shoulder Arthroplasty: Do They Correlate with the Critical Shoulder Angle?" 14th International Congress of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2019
  • First award for oral presentation for "Comparison of Reconstructive Techniques Following Oncologic Intraarticular Resection of Proximal Humerus," 20th General Meeting of the International Society on Limb Salvage, 2019
  • Richard J. Hawkins, M.D. Award for "How Did Grammont and Frankle-Style Prosthesis Compare at 10 Years?" American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, 2019
  • Presidential Guest Speaker, Mid-Atlantic Shoulder & Elbow Society, 2019
  • Presidential Guest Speaker, Second Ibero-Latin American Perspective of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2019
  • Achievement Award, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2018, 2017, 2015
  • The Mark D. Coventry, M.D., Award, The Knee Society, 2014
  • Mark B. Coventry Clinical Research Award, Mayo Clinic, 2012
  • Mid-America Orthopaedic Association Award, 2011
  • Melvin Post Award, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, 2010
  • Teacher of the Year in orthopedic surgery, Mayo Clinic, 2009, 2005
  • Mark B. Coventry Clinical Research Adult Reconstructive Fellowship Award, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 2000
  • Jesus Galan Award, Medical School Consejo General de Colegios de Medicos de España, 1994


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Administrative Appointment

  1. Chair, Division of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Orthopedics


  1. Special Fellowship - Adult Reconstruction, Upper Extremity Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  2. Special Fellowship - Adult Reconstruction, Lower Extremity Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  3. PhD - "Doctor en Medicina y Cirugia" Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
  4. MS - Orthopedic Surgery ("Medico Especialista en Traumatologia y Cirugia Ortopedica") Hospital "La Paz", Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
  5. Other - Examination for Residency (Oposicion M.I.R.) Position #1 Spanish National Residency
  6. MD - "Licenciado en Medicina y Cirugia" Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

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