Richard A. Zell, MD

Richard A. Zell, MD
  • Specializes in:
  • Foot & Ankle Surgery
  • Knee Surgery
  • Orthopaedic Trauma

Dr. Zell is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon who has worked in the New Haven area since 2001. He specializes in Foot & Ankle Surgery, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Trauma/Fracture care.

Dr. Zell's interests in Foot and Ankle Surgery include: ankle reconstruction procedures (such as ankle fusion), ankle replacement, ankle arthroscopy, forefoot reconstruction (such as bunion surgery), tendon disorders (such as Achilles tendonitis), nerve disorders (such as tarsal tunnel syndrome). He has been able to use his training in Sports Medicine to become an expert on sports injuries of the ankle or foot(such as talar dome OCD and ankle instability) and has been able to treat many of these conditions using advanced arthroscopic techniques.  Dr.Zell has extensive experience in treatment of all ankle and foot fractures (ankle fractures, talus fractures, calcaneus fractures, lisfranc injuries and 5th metatarsal fractures).

Dr. Zell also has extensive experience in knee surgery including: meniscal injuries, ACL injuries, patella-femoral problems, fractures, and arthritis.  He is experienced in all types of arthroscopic knee surgery including ACL reconstruction, meniscal repair and reconstruction of the patella-femoral joint. He has an interest in the care of patients with knee arthritis including the use of non-operative treatments (such as Viscosupplementation injections) and knee replacement surgery.

Dr. Zell graduated from the University of Notre Dame and attended medical school at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He completed a five year residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut Integrated Residency Program (University of Connecticut Health Center, Hartford Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Connecticut Children's Medical Center). Dr. Zell continued his training with two Orthopaedic fellowships. The first Fellowship was in Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy. The second Fellowship was in Foot & Ankle Surgery at the Hospital for Joint Diseases (an Orthopaedic Specialist Hospital) in New York City.

Dr. Zell is an Assistant Clinical Instructor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Yale School of Medicine. He has been awarded the 2004 Yale Orthopaedic Residents teaching award. This award is given annually to the community attending physician who contributes the most to the Orthopaedic Resident's education.

He has been selected by New Haven Living Magazine in 2012, 2015 and 2016 as a "Best Doc" for Foot and Ankle Surgery.

In 2017, he was appointed the prestigious honor of Chair of the Membership Committee of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (Dr. Zell was appointed by the Jeffrey E. Johnson, MD and Dr. Zell has accepted the role of Chair.)

Dr. Zell treats patients in our Hamden, Milford, and Branford locations.

Hamden, CT: 9 Washington Avenue, 06518 | See Map

Tel: 203-865-6784 
Fax: 203-865-6788

Branford, CT: 469 West Main Street, 06405 | See Map

Tel: 203-865-6784 
Fax: 203-865-6788

Milford, CT: 30 Commerce Park, 06460 | See Map

Tel: 203-865-6784 
Fax: 203-865-6788

Dr.Zell performs surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital(St. Raphael’s Campus and York Street) Shoreline Surgery Center, Milford Hospital and Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at MidState Medical Center. 

Appointments with Dr.Zell can be made by calling (203) 865-6784.

Honors and Awards

Chair of the Membership Committee of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (2017 Richard A. Zell, MD was appointed by the President Jeffrey E. Johnson, MD and Dr. Zell has accepted the role of Chair)

Best Doctors Award
New Haven Living Magazine- Year 2016

Voted as a “Top Doc” in Orthopaedic Surgery
New Haven Living Magazine- Years 2012 and 2015
Community Attending Teaching Award
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Yale School of Medicine, June 2004

State University of New York at Stony Brook,
Stony Brook, NY 8/90-5/94
Degree: M.D.
Honors: M.D. with Distinction in Research

University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 9/86-5/90
Degree: B.A. in History/Pre-Professional studies
Honors:  Cum Laude
Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honor Society)
Arts and Letters London Program
Varsity Monogram Winner, Swimming and Diving Team
Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation,
Yale School of Medicine
Clinical Preceptor in Orthopaedic Surgery for Fairfield University Nurse Practitioner Program, 2013
Clinical Preceptor in Orthopaedic Surgery for Quinnipiac University Nurse Practitioner Program, 2015.
Zell RA, Fulkerson JP: Results of patellectomy for patellar arthritis.
Zell RA, Khalfayan EE, Floros RC, Gregg JR: Allograft reconstruction for posterior tibial tendon deficiency.
Zell RA, Kazajian D, Gregg JR: Determination of the force required to insert an osteochondral autograft in mosaicplasty.
Zell RA, Romness MJ, Davis R: Gait analysis of calcaneal lengthening osteotomy for flexible flatfeet in children.
Zell RA, Taranelli DJ, Fulkerson JR: Results of bone tunnel compaction on fixation of bioabsorbable soft tissue interference screws in free tendon ACL graft fixation.
Guilak F, Zell RA, Erickson GR, Grande DA, Rubin CR, McLeod KJ, Donahue HJ: Mechanically induced calcium waves in articular chondrocytes are inhibited by gadolinium and amiloride. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 17:421-429, 1999.
Guilak F, Donahue HJ, Zell RA, Grande D, McLeod KJ, Rubin CT: Deformation-induced calcium signaling in articular chondrocytes. In: Cell Mechanics and Cellular Engineering. Edited by VC Mow, RM Hochmuth, F Guilak, and R Tran-Son-Tay. New York, Springer-Verlag, 1994
Miki RA,Lawrence JP, Gillon TJ, Lawrence BD, Zell RA: Anterior tibial artery and deep peroneal nerve entrapment in spiral distal third tibia fracture. Orthopedics, 31(12), Dec 2008.
Zell RA: Hammer toes; Compartment syndrome; External fixator removal; Bone graft minor; Kidner procedure. In: Orthopaedic Pocket Procedure Series. Edited by CG Lewis. New York, McGraw Hill, 2002.
Zell RA, Santoro VJ: Augmented repair for acute achilles tendon rupture. Foot & Ankle International, 2l(6):469-473, 2000.
Contributing author in: Atlas of Orthopaedic Surgery: A Multimedia Reference. Zuckerman JD, Koval K. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.
Associations and Committee's
Associations:American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Arthroscopy
Association of North America
Committees:American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
(Membership Committee, Awards and Scholarship Committee, 2011-present)