Kirk McCullough, MD

Board Certified & Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Kirk McCullough, is an Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Foot/Ankle Surgeon at the Kansas City Orthopaedic Institute in Leawood, KS. Dr. McCullough has strong interests in research and product development to assist in improved patient outcomes. He focuses on less invasive surgical techniques and the advanced use of orthobiologics in both operative and non-operative condition management. He is a champion of patient engagement and improving methods for post-injury/post-surgical patient care as a driver of patient success.

Areas of Specialty

  • Sports Medicine
  • Foot & Ankle Surgery
  • Shoulder & Elbow Surgery
  • Knee Surgery
  • Orthobiologics


Professional Roles

    • Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery- University of Missouri- Kansas City
    • U.S. Soccer Team Physician
    • Team Physician- Sporting KC
    • Head Team Physician- Swope Park Rangers/Sporting KC II
    • Chief Medical Officer/Head Team Physician- KC Current 2020-23
    • Consultant – Kansas City Ballet
    • Head Team Physician/Medical Director- Saint Thomas Aquinas High School
    • Team Physician- KC Chiefs (2014-19’)


  • Fellowship: OrthoCarolina Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Fellowship: Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, Ohio
  • Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Doctor of Medicine: University of Kansas



  • Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
  • Fellow, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgeons (AOFAS)
  • Fellow, Arthroscopy Associate of North America (AANA)
  • Fellow, International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society (ICRS)
  • Fellow, Alpha Omega Alpha
  • Fellow, NFL Foot & Ankle Subcommittee
  • Fellow, MLS Physician Society/Professional Soccer Physician Society
  • Fellow, USL Sports Medicine Task Force
  • Fellow, Christian Medical & Dental Association
Kirk McCullough, an Orthopedic doctor in Kansas City


Growing up in the Kansas City area, I was excited to return to the region after training at some of the top centers of orthopedic education in the nation to provide excellence in the care of sports-related and overuse conditions of the knee, shoulder, and foot/ankle. I am passionate about providing the same high level of care that I received as a patient/athlete during my high school and collegiate basketball career. My primary objective as a clinician is to understand the desires of each patient regarding their respective injury/condition and hope for return to function, and to employ what I have learned and continue to learn to best achieve that goal.

More About Dr. Kirk McCullough

Dr. Kirk McCullough is a board-certified, dual fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine treatments of complex knee, shoulder, foot and ankle conditions.

Following his orthopedic surgery residency training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN., Dr. McCullough went on to complete a fellowship in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, NC followed by an additional year of fellowship training in Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, OH. Since returning to KC, Dr. McCullough has served as the team physician for multiple organizations in the area including the KC Chiefs (NFL), Sporting KC (MLS), KC Current (NWSL), Swope Park Rangers (USL/MLS/NextPro), the KC Ballet and his alma mater St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Additionally, at the national level, Dr. McCullough is involved with the NFL on the Foot and Ankle Subcommittee, U.S. Soccer as a Team Physician, and serves as a delegate for the State of Kansas to the AOSSM.

Outside of Work

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my immediate and extended family and attending various sporting events

Dr. McCullough's Publications

  • Jastifer JR, McNitt AS, Mack CD, Kent RW, McCullough KA, Coughlin MJ, Anderson RB. The development of mandatory practices for the testing and maintenance of synthetic turf fields in the National Football League. Int Turfgrass Soc Res J. Published online 2021. doi:10.1002/its2.94.
  • Lau BC, Barg A, Haytmanek CT, McCullough K, Amendola A. Evolution in Surgical Management of Ankle Instability in Athletes. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2021 Jan 1;29(1):e5-e13. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-20-00176. PMID: 33306560.
  • McCullough KA. Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus: A Continued Optimal Management and Clinical Follow-up Enigma: Commentary on an article by Hong-Yeol Yang, MD, and Keun-Bae Lee, MD, PhD: “Arthroscopic Microfracture for Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus. Second-Look Arthroscopic and Magnetic Resonance Analysis of Cartilage Repair Tissue Outcomes”. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2020 Jan 2;102(1):e3. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.19.01203. PMID: 31880658.
  • Beason AM, Koehler RJ, Sanders RA, Rode BE, Menge TJ, McCullough KA, Glass NA, Hettrich CM, MOON Shoulder Group, Cox CL. “Surgeon Agreement on the Presence of Pathologic Anterior Instability on Shoulder Imaging Studies.” Orthop J Sports Med 2019: Aug 9: Epub ahead of print.
  • Tropha, W. Graham, K. McCullough, C. Lattermann, D. Corpus, B. Saltzman, J. Fleischli, D. Piasecki. “A Radiographic Sizing Algorithm for Tibial Plateau Osteochondral Allografts.” Cartilage 2019 Mar 12: Epub ahead of print.
  • Jastifer, A. McNitt, C. Mack, R. Kent, K. McCullough, M. Coughlin, R. Anderson. “Synthetic Turf: History, Design, Maintenance, and Athlete Safety.” Sports Health. 2019 Jan/Feb 11(1): 84-90.
  • Jastifer, K. McCullough. “Fatigue bending strength of Jones fracture specific screw fixation.” Foot Ankle Int. 2018 Apr 39(4): 493-499.
  • Parekh, K. McCullough, S. Brigido, M. Cooper. “Sports Injuries of the Foot and Ankle: How Do Treatments Differ from the General Patient Population.” Foot Ankle Spec. 2017 Aug;10(4): 329-332.
  • Jastifer, R. Kent, J. Crandall, C. Sherwood, D. Lessley, K. McCullough, M. Coughlin, R. Anderson. “The Athletic Shoe in Football: Apparel or Protective Equipment?” Sports Health. 2017 Mar/Apr: 126-131.
  • Richman, M. Siqueira, K. McCullough, M. Berkowitz. “Correction of Hammertoe Deformity with Novel Intramedullary PIP Fusion Device versus K-Wire Fixation.” Foot Ankle Int. 2017 Feb; 38(2): 174-180.
  • Amin, K. McCullough, G. Mills, D. Cerynik, J. Rosneck, R. Parker. “The Impact and Functional Outcomes of Achilles Tendon Pathology in National Basketball Association Players.” Clin Res Foot Ankle. 2016 Sep 4:3.
  • B. Lievers, R. Frimenko, K. McCullough, J. Crandall, R. Kent. “Etiology and Biomechanics of Midfoot (Lisfranc) Injuries in Athletes.” Crit Rev Biomed Eng. 2015; 43: 213-238. K. McCullough, C. Shaw, R. Anderson. “Mini-Open Repair of Achilles Rupture in the National Football League.” J Surg Orthop Adv. Winter 2014; 23(4):179-183.
  • Anderson, J. Nyman, K. McCullough, Y. Song, S. Uppuganti, K. O’Neill, A. Anderson, W. Dunn. “Biomechanical Evaluation of Physeal-Sparing Fixation Methods in Tibial Eminence Fractures.” Am J Sports Med. 2013 May 20. [Epub ahead of print]
  • McCullough, K. Phelps, M. Matava, W. Dunn, R. Parker, E. Reinke, K. Spindler. “Return to High School and College Level Football following ACL Reconstruction.” Am J Sports Med. 2012 Aug 24. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Devin, K. McCullough, B. Morris, A. Yates, J. Kang. “Hip-Spine Syndrome: Current Concepts”. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2012 Jul;20(7):434-42.
  • Even, K. McCullough, B. Braly, J. Hohl, Y. Song, J. Lee, M. McGirt, C. Devin. “Clinical Indications for Arterial Imaging in Cervical Trauma.” Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012 Feb 15;37(4):286-91.
  • McCullough, C. Waits, R. Garimella, S. Tague, J. Sipe, H.C. Anderson. “Immunohistochemical Localization of Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) 2, 4, 6, and 7 during Induced Heterotopic Bone Formation.” J Orthop Res 2007 Apr; 25(4): 465- 72.
  • McCullough, H. Nguyen, D. Stechshulte, O. Tawfik. “Ligneous Conjunctivitis: A Case Report with Multi-organ Involvement.” Histopathology 2007 Mar; 50(4): 511-3. K. McCullough, I. Damjanov. “Intestinal histoplasmosis mimicking Whipple’s disease.” Histopathology. 2006 Feb; 48(3): 306-7.

Book Chapters

  • McCullough, C. Shaw, C. Barnthouse, J. Browne. “Return to American Football after ACL Reconstruction” in The Anterior Cruciate Ligament: Reconstruction and Basic Science.” Elsevier; 2017.
  • McCullough, E. Stout, K. Spindler. “Return to Sport following ACL Reconstruction: The MOON Experience” in Rotatory Knee Instability: An Evidence Based Approach. Springer; September 27, 2016. 427-432.


Kansas City Profiles Presented by Easton Roofing – Doctor for all Seasons – Kirk McCullough