Knee, Shoulder & Sports Medicine Physician in Vail, CO

For over a decade, Dr. Cunningham has cared for patients in the Vail Valley and in Summit County Colorado. In addition, he has patients from across the country and world that travel to seek his care. With a reputation for providing compassionate care and great surgical outcomes, Dr. Cunningham values the collaboration and relationship he has with his many patients.

Dr. Cunningham was trained at the prestigious Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh – regarded by orthopedists as one of the best knee and shoulder fellowship programs. During his time there, he was an associate physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Following his fellowship, he joined Vail Summit Orthopedics, where he treats athletes of all levels. Dr. Cunningham is a team physician for the U.S. Ski Team, Freedom FC Soccer Club, and to area high schools.

Orthopedics in the Local Community

An active and passionate member of the mountain community, Dr. Cunningham provides free sports medicine physicals to high school athletes every year. He also lends his expertise through offering knee stability checks for skiers at the start of the Vail ski season.

An educator at heart, Dr. Cunningham offers regular community lectures on knee and shoulder injuries as well as educational seminars to primary care and emergency room physicians and ski patrollers at Vail-area ski resorts. He regularly contributes sports medicine articles to local publications, including the Vail Daily.

Orthopedic Awards for Excellence

Dr. Cunningham served as Chief of Surgery at Vail Valley Medical Center from 2008 to 2015. In 2010, he received the Clinical Excellence Award from his physician colleagues at the Center. He is also a member of professional orthopedic organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America and American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Education & Training

  • Undergraduate: Amherst College – Amherst, MA
  • Medical: University of Washington – Seattle, WA

  • Orthopedic Surgery Residency: University of Utah – Salt Lake City, UT

  • Fellowship in Knee, Shoulder & Sports Medicine: University of Pittsburgh Center for Sports Medicine – Pittsburgh, PA

Hospital Affiliations

  • Vail Valley Medical Center
  • Summit Medical Center
  • Vail Valley Surgery Center
  • Peak One Surgery Center

Richard Cunningham, MD Reviews

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Richard Cunningham, MD
Average rating:  
 22 reviews
by Russ K. on Richard Cunningham, MD
Takes his time explaining situations

"Easy to communicate with, he does not talk over your comprehension with big medical terminology, and takes his time explaining situations."

by Layna Gillaspy on Richard Cunningham, MD
I am so appreciative of Dr. Cunningham and his whole team!

When Layna Gillaspy shattered her kneecap in Arkansas, her husband suggested she get treated by Dr. Cunningham at Vail-Summit Orthopedics & Neurosurgery. “Due to the complexity of the injury, we wanted to make sure we were getting the best care possible,” said Layna. “What I really appreciated the most about Dr. Cunningham’s style of care was his calmness and how extremely reassuring he was with me. I knew this was a complex injury and I was nervous about the outcome. I felt very confident in Dr. Cunningham. Overall, he is just a very caring individual.” Layna is now 11 months post-operative, and her knee is getting better each day. “I am so appreciative of Dr. Cunningham and his whole team!”

by SSG S. Skramstad on Richard Cunningham, MD
I would not go to anybody else for a shoulder or knee injury

I’ve seen Dr. Cunningham and staff twice, once for each Shoulder within the last five years, I’m a active duty Colorado Army National Guard helicopter mechanic at the High Altitude Aviation training Site (HAATS). I have full range of motion in both shoulders! I can’t say enough about their quality of care and professionalism! Dr. Cunningham, Erika, Victoria and Chad are the best of the BEST! I would not go to anybody else for a shoulder or knee injury. Dr Cunningham should be your “ Go to Doc”. He’s definitely mine!

by Victoria F. on Richard Cunningham, MD
You treated me with kindness, professionalism, and expertise

"When I broke my kneecap, you treated me with kindness, professionalism, and expertise. I was truly appreciative of the time you spent explaining the procedure and healing process."

by Gary A. on Richard Cunningham, MD
Changed my life

Thanks Dr Cunningham my knee replacement changed my life and I got back to hikes in the mountains with my dogs

by Charlie C. on Richard Cunningham, MD
#1 knee and shoulder team

#1 knee and shoulder team in two counties , eagle/summit. Dr. Cunningham took excellent care of both my knee's and my shoulder , I wouldn't let anyone work on me!!

by Valerie L. on Richard Cunningham, MD

World class Surgeons in Vail!

by Jenny G. on Richard Cunningham, MD
We both had such incredible experiences with Dr. C

Both myself and our son are former patients of Dr Cunningham’s. We are both doing so well! We both are back to doing all the sports and activities that we want to be doing. We both had such incredible experiences with Dr C. You get the full deal with Dr C - incredible expertise and skill and a patient, caring, good listener. He is an exceptional doctor. We are SO grateful to have been in his care.

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Rediscover your inner athlete

Dr. Cunningham specializes in the treatment of knee, shoulder, and sports injuries.

Step One