Mark L. Purnell, MD

Mark L. Purnell, MD

Area of Specialty: Sports Medicine
Education: University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland, Ore.
Residency: University of Wisconsin Hospitals, Madison, Wis.
Fellowship: Aspen Sports Medicine Foundation
Certifications & Titles: American Board of Orthopedic Surgery; Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, Sports Subspecialty Certificate

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Originally from Oregon, Dr. Mark Purnell grew up climbing, skiing, camping, cycling and spending as much time as he could outdoors. After completing his orthopedic training at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he became interested in sports orthopedics, particularly knee ligament reconstruction. He came to Aspen for a sports medicine fellowship in 1985 and never left—he’s raised five daughters in Aspen with his wife, Kelley.

Dr. Purnell has worked with world-class athletes on the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Mountain Biking Team. Through the Bariloche Medical Exchange program, he’s had the opportunity to teach in Aspen’s sister city in Argentina, and he also volunteers with SIGN Fracture Care International, which provides education and implants to third world countries.

As a skier, runner and mountain biker, Dr. Purnell appreciates the athletic prowess of his patients and is devoted to helping them remain active after recovering from injury.

Click here to view Dr. Purnell’s CV


Below please find an executive list of articles published by Mark L. Purnell, MD:

Wright, RW, Purnell, ML, et al. Effect of Graft Choice on the Outcome of Revision Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in the Multicenter ACL Revision Study (MARS) Cohort. American Journal of Sports Medicine. Vol. 42, No. 10, 2301-10. Winner of the AOSSM 2014 O’Donoghue Award for clinical-based research.

Harris, NL, Huffer, WE, Purnell, ML, von Stade, E, Larson, AI, Phinney, MA. The Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma on Normal Soft Tissues in the Rabbit. JBJS Am. 2012; 94: 786-93.

Purnell, ML, Larson, AI. Mini-incision Patellar Tendon Harvest and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Using Critical Bony Landmarks. Sports Medicine Arthroscopy Review. Vol 17, No. 4, 2009.

Purnell, ML, Larson, AI, Clancy, W. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Insertions on the Tibia and Femur and Their Relationships to Critical Bony Landmarks Using High-resolution Volume-rendering Computed Tomography. American Journal of Sports Medicine. Vol 36, No. 11, 2008.

Harris, NL, Purnell, ML, Pevny, T, Larson, AI. Arthroscopic Management of Tibial Plateau Fractures. Techniques in Knee Surgery 6(1): 9-16; 2007.

Pevny, T, Purnell, ML, Harris, NL, Larson, AI. Arthroscopic Fixation of Tibial Spine Fractures. Techniques in Knee Surgery 6(1): 2-8; 2007.

Purnell, ML, Larson, AI, Schnetzler, KA, Harris, NL, Pevny T. Diagnosis and Surgical Treatment of Schatzker Type IV Variant Biplanar Medial Tibial Plateau Fractures in Alpine Skiers. Techniques in Knee Surgery 6(1): 17-28; 2007.

Zemen, C, Hunter RE, Freeman, JR, Purnell, ML, Mastrangelo, J. Acute Skier’s Thumb Repaired with a Proximal Phalanx Suture Anchor. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1998, 26(5): 644-650.

Harris, NL, Smith, DA, Lamoreaux, L, Purnell, ML. Central Quadriceps Tendon for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: Part I. Morphometric and Biomechanical Evaluation. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1997, 25(I): 23-8.

Hunter, RE, Mastrangelo, J, Freeman, JR, Purnell, ML, Jones, RH. The Impact of Surgical Timing on Postoperative Motion and Stability Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. Arthroscopy. 1996, 12(6): 667-674.


“With much thanks for your care and attention following my recent accident. I am very pleased I had the operation in Aspen and my recovery is going well. Here’s to more skiing in November!”

“No bones about it: Thanks a million for taking such great care of me, Dr. Purnell and Rachael.”

“I wanted to express my gratitude and thanks for the kindness and professionalism that everyone showed me while visiting Aspen. Everyone was so kind and caring after I broke both of my arms. Even though the breaking of both arms would normally destroy a vacation, the kindness following made all the difference to me. Thank you for transforming a probable terrible vacation experience into a fun ski trip.”

“Five weeks out from that fateful day we met, and the lingering benefits of our encounter are evident. I still have two legs, one pretty similar to the other. Wounds are nearly healed, pain subsiding, and function returning; with visions of dancing and hiking someday soon!”


Visit OrthoAspen in two convenient locations
Aspen Clinic
Aspen Valley Hospital
0401 Castle Creek Rd., Suite 2100,

Aspen, CO 81611
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400
Basalt Clinic
Midvalley Medical Center
1450 E. Valley Rd., Suite 201,

Basalt, CO 81621
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400