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Dr. Michael Ruffolo is a board-certified and fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive and complex hip and knee replacement surgery. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana but spent his formative years in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dr. Ruffolo received his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina and attended medical school at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He completed his Orthopaedic Surgery residency at Carolinas Medical Center/OrthoCarolina in Charlotte before pursuing his fellowship in Adult Reconstruction at the prestigious Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Dr. Ruffolo’s practice focuses on the optimal treatment of patients undergoing hip and knee replacement. He emphasizes minimally invasive techniques and efficient pain control to allow for rapid recovery and outpatient surgery. He performed the first robotically-assisted joint replacement in Wake County and continues to integrate advanced technologies and procedures into his practice. Additionally, he specializes in difficult problems in hip and knee arthroplasty, including complex reconstructions and revision surgery.

He is a candidate member in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. His research has been presented at national meetings and has been published in leading orthopaedic journals. He remains active in these societies and employs the most up-to-date information to take the best care of his patients.

Dr. Ruffolo lives in Cary with his wife, son, and daughter. In his spare time, he enjoys movies, skiing, cooking, and barbequing.​

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Provider Type: 
  • Undergraduate: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC – Highest Honors with Distinction
  • Medical School: Doctor of Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV – High Honors
Post Graduate Training: 
  • Residency: Orthopaedic Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center/OrthoCarolina, Charlotte, NC
  • Fellowship: Adult Reconstruction – Rush University, Chicago, IL
Honors and Awards: 
  • 2020 NC Top Doc Award
  • Merck Award for Academic Excellence in Clinical Medicine
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society
  • Gold Humanism Honor Society
  • American Society of Clinical Pathology Award for Academic Excellence and Achievement
  • Dean’s Award Scholarship
  • Prescott Award for Academic Excellence
Special Procedures: 
  • Direct Anterior Hip Replacement
  • Mini-Posterior Hip Replacement
  • Partial Knee Replacement
  • Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement
  • Complex Hip and Knee Replacement
  • Revision Hip and Knee Replacement
  • Periprosthetic Fracture Care
  • Management of Periprosthetic Infection

"If you are searching for an experienced, highly trained orthopedic surgeon in the anterior hip replacement procedure, look no further.  Being a new resident to the are, I was overwhelmed by the various health care systems and the many orthopedic surgeons in the area.  There were many orthopedic surgeons who were highly qualified but that's not the only reason it took me so long to finally have my hip replacement.  I was looking for a surgeon who was compassionate, patient and kind and I found him after a year long search.  The entire process from my first appointment to my surgery was smooth and most of all reassuring.  I received detailed instructions about my surgery and was prepared physically and mentally.  The hospital staff at WakeMed were excellent and they had a special Orthopedic surgical coordinator who personally called me with instructions and listened to my concerns.  Post surgery was a pleasant surprise by receiving the right pain meds and experiencing very little pain.  In one week I had physical therapy and saw Dr. Ruffolo again.  We were both thrilled by my progress and I was walking without pain and no limp.  Very thankful to Dr. Ruffolo and his entire team for great outcome."

"Dr. Ruffolo and all of his staff are extremely knowledgeable and exceptional.  I had a total knee replacement.  From beginning to end Dr. Ruffolo explained what was going to happen, pain level, and recovery time, and was spot on!  His staff always responded to my questions the same day.  Even for prescription refills which I have not found with many physicians offices.  Dr. Ruffolo used the robotic assist and I have been so pleased with the outcome.  My knee looks great.  Not much of a scar and swelling is minimal when I overuse it.  the schedule of my surgery was precise.  Everyone at WakeMed on Kildare Farm Road were professional and my experience went smoothly.  Unfortunately, the pain was rough but being on the other side of the surgery I am so glad I did it.  The nursing care was so wonderful.  Their love, patience, and kindness made my recovery peaceful.  The drs office scheduled my in-home therapy with Liberty Home Care.  This also was excellent.  Alwin showed me exercises and made sure I was doing them correctly.  He was gentle, kind and always on time.  I continued after 2 weeks with PT at Pivot Physical Therapy.  Marisa, Jessica and Owen were so helpful.  Anytime I had pain they knew the cause, took care of it, and I went home feeling better.  I have had my 3 month check and am doing great.  Walking my dogs, caring for our grandson, stairs, and even jogged a little.  Dr. Ruffolo is a great doctor and I highly recommend him."

"I had my right hip replaced in early April.  From my first appointment with Dr. Ruffolo I knew he was the one to do my surgery.  I had visited another hip surgeon and had an appointment set for a third opinion, which I cancelled.  Dr. Ruffolo explained well the entire procedure and the recovery process, and visually demonstrated what he would do to me with a sample of what he was going to replace my hip with.  He answered all of my questions and concerns, which demonstrated to me that not only was he a caring surgeon, but his expertise lef me to feel confident with his method, and that I would be much better off having my hip replaced.  I mentally and physically prepared for the surgery for 2 weeks, and have been impressed with Dr. Ruffolo and the results since then.  I have referred people to him after he replaced my hip.  I consider Dr. Ruffolo an outstanding physician!"

"Dr. Ruffolo replaced both of my hips in September 2018 and December 2018.  I was experiencing pain from my back all the way down my legs to my knees.  Dr. Ruffolo and his team fully explained to me what to expect before, during, and after surgery.  After each hip replacement my pain that I was experiencing was gone.  The recovery has been quick, I'm pain free, and walking normal again.  Dr. Ruffolo is a great surgeon and I feel lucky to have been sent his way."

"Having a lot of pain in my right hip, I went to see Dr. Ruffolo. During the initial office visit after looking at my x-rays, he stated my cartilage was gone and the only option I had was complete hip replacement. As I was by myself, Dr. Ruffolo informed me that if my wife wanted to come and discuss the surgery, he would be happy to meet with us. It was decided that our daughter, who is a Doctor of Physical Therapy would return with me to Dr. Ruffolo's office to see if there was any alternative to hip replacement. Upon reviewing the x-ray and discussing with Dr. Ruffolo, she agreed with him that there was no other alternative. He was very caring and took time for me and my family prior to, during and after my surgery. I am now six weeks postop and have been amazed how well this went and have already referred others to him. Of note, his medical assistant was also very helpful in getting the FMLA papers for my wife as well."

"I recently had a complete hip replacement by Dr. Ruffolo, and it was truly an awesome experience.  Right from the beginning he made my wife and I feel at ease of what the surgery entailed.  Dr. Ruffolo was very professional and courteous throughout the experience.  I am now completely pain free and doing all the activities I previously did.  I highly recommend Dr. Ruffolo."

"Went in with a pain in my hip/buttocks from a fall.  Afraid it was a broken pelvic bone, but Dr. Ruffolo diagnosed it as a ruptured disk.  His bedside manner is great.  He takes time to listen and helps you feel such confidence in him.  Would definitely recommend him for any hip problems."

"I had 2 knee replacements done by Dr. Ruffolo.  I was blessed that he was my surgeon.  He has a wonderful bedside manner, making me feel completely comfortable and confident with him performing surgery on my knees.  I went from barely able to walk from one room to the other, to taking my dogs on walks.  He gave back to me years of being independent...Can't thank him enough!"


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