Vail Valley Surgery Centers are now open. In an effort to protect our patients, community and staff, we have updated our visitor policy. For surgical procedures, patients' designated ride/care provider will now only be allowed to enter the building when the patient is ready to be sent home. Only one adult per patient will be allowed. For minor procedures, including pain injections and GI endoscopy, no visitors will be allowed to enter (patient drop off and pick up only). We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

Nathan L. Cafferky M.D.


Specialty: Orthopaedics

Contact Phone: (970) 569-3240

Languages: English

Education: Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA

Residency: Surgery Residency: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO; Orthopaedic Residency: Geisinger Orthopaedic Institute, Danville, PA

Board Certification: Board Certification: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Fellowship: Joints and Adult Reconstruction Fellowship: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO

  • Biography
  • Noteworthy
Early on in his residency at the Geisinger Orthopaedic Institute at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA, Dr. Nathan Cafferky was serving on the joint replacement service treating an elderly, debilitated patient who was wheelchair-bound. Previous surgeons had decided they couldn’t help, but through careful planning and establishing goals with the patient, Dr. Cafferky and his team were able to replace this person’s hip. One day after surgery, the patient was walking again for the first time in years. Witnessing how well patients can do after joint replacement surgery is why Dr. Cafferky decided to pursue fellowship training in adult reconstruction. “That was a very powerful experience for me as a surgeon."

As a total joint surgeon specializing in adult reconstruction, Dr. Cafferky focuses on patients with hip and knee conditions who require replacement surgery. His fellowship training in joints and adult reconstruction at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus gave him the expertise to treat these conditions appropriately. The most common conditions he treats include hip and knee arthritis, ranging from osteoarthritis to rheumatoid arthritis to post traumatic arthritis.

What’s new and exciting in joint replacement surgery? Dr. Cafferky says newer technologies and techniques are helping improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. “With total hip and total knee replacement surgeries, we’re using less invasive techniques. In total hip replacements, for instance, we are now utilizing the more muscle sparing direct anterior approach to the hip. Combining these newer techniques with rapid recovery post-operative protocols are also allowing patients to return to a normal life faster. Also, exciting advances in newer technologies, such as computer navigation and robotic surgery, are also making their way into joint replacement surgery. Plus, the implant companies are creating better artificial joints than ever before. With a better understanding of bio-materials and bearing surfaces, implants are now likely to last much longer too.”

A native of Portland, OR, Dr. Cafferky went to medical school at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Southern California. “From my training, I’ve been fortunate enough to take care of a broad spectrum of patients from around the Unites States. It has been an honor and a privilege to take care of these patients. I am excited to bring what I have learned from each of my patient experiences, and my expertise, to the mountain communities.”

Growing up in a family of physicians, Dr. Cafferky realized early on that he wanted to help others. “I had great role models in my father and grandfathers. They taught me that taking care of others, and putting others first, is one of the most rewarding aspects of a career that I could have. I realized early on in my education that I wanted to help get people back on their feet, and realized that I wanted to become an orthopaedic surgeon. In training, we’re taught not only how to operate but when to operate. My philosophy of patient care is to work closely with my patients to establish appropriate goals of care and expectations. I enjoy working with patients to help them get back to the active lifestyles that they enjoy.”

Dr. Cafferky and his wife are excited about the quality of life that the mountains have to offer. “As someone who grew up skiing, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, and camping, I am excited to be able to move my family to communities that enjoy and value these same activities. One of the most enjoyable things for me to do now is to teach my kids the enjoyment of a healthy and active outdoor lifestyle. The mountain communities are unique in that, as a physician, my patients enjoy the same activities as I do. I enjoy working closely with my patients to help them get back on their feet, so that they can get back to enjoying the activities that brought them to live in the mountains.”
Professional Associations
Alumni Association, Loma Linda University School of Medicine
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
American Medical Association
AO North America
Colorado Medical Society
International Congress for Joint Reconstruction
Orthopaedic Trauma Association
Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society
Western Orthopaedic Association

Team Affiliations
US Ski Team

Hospital Affiliations
St. Anthony Summit Medical Center
Vail Valley Medical Center
University of Colorado Hospital
Peak One Surgery Center
Vail Valley Surgery Centers

Visiting Clinic Professor, University of Colorado, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery