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James S. Kercher, M.D.

James Kercher, M.D.

Sports Medicine; Cartilage Restoration



James Kercher, M.D., joined Peachtree Orthopedics in August, 2010. He is board certified by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He founded the Atlanta Cartilage Restoration Center in 2014 as a specialty practice for Peachtree Orthopedics’ sports medicine and cartilage patients.


  • Sports Medicine
  • Cartilage Restoration



Dr. Kercher has authored multiple book chapters and research publications on topics related to rotator cuff pathology and repair, cartilage restoration and the female athlete. In addition, he is an associate master instructor of patellofemoral surgery, arthroscopic knee and shoulder surgery at the Orthopaedic Learning Center for the Arthroscopy Association of North America. Dr. Kercher has served as an editor for the International Cartilage Repair Society, committee member for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Society of Sports Medicine, and participates as a scientific reviewer for multiple orthopedic publications including the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Dr. Kercher is team physician for the Gwinnett Stripers. His athletic career and interests have helped define his profession. When he is not treating patients he enjoys fishing, traveling and spending time with his wife and three young children.


Dr. Kercher is a native of Atlanta and received his undergraduate degree in industrial systems engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1998. While he was at Georgia Tech, he was a member of the varsity football team from 1993-97. He completed medical school at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta in 2004, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. In 2009, Dr. Kercher completed his orthopedic residency at Emory University in Atlanta and assisted with sports medicine coverage for Georgia Tech football, Georgia Tech baseball and Emory University. During residency, he received numerous awards for orthopedic research and published his innovative work on 3-D MRI imaging for adolescent ACL reconstruction.

Following residency, he completed his orthopedic fellowship training at the world-renowned Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where he worked under Drs. Bach, Cole, Romeo, Nicholson, Verma and Bush-Joseph. As a sports medicine fellow at Rush, Dr. Kercher served as the assistant team physician for the Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Steel and DePaul University, gaining experience treating athletes at all levels of competition.

Fellowship: Rush University Medical Center, sports medicine, Chicago, IL

Residency: Emory University, orthopedics, 2009, Atlanta, GA

Medical School: Medical College of Georgia, M.D., 2004, Augusta, GA  |  Alpha Omega Alpha, National Medical Honor Society

Undergraduate: Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S., industrial systems engineering, 1998, Atlanta, GA


  • International Cartilage Repair Society
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society


Named Top Doctor by Castle Connolly

Chosen in 2023 as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor (7% of all US doctors). Castle Connolly identifies Top Doctors based on an extensive nomination process. The national physician-led research team reviews and rigorously screens all nominated physicians before selecting those regarded as the most outstanding healthcare providers in the country.

Named Top Doctor by Atlanta Magazine

Chosen in 2024 as an Atlanta Magazine Top Doc. Atlanta Magazine, 63 years in print, identifies Top Docs based on research created by PRS (Professional Research Services). It is based on an online peer-review survey sent out to physicians within the Atlanta area, garnering thousands of votes honoring excellence in all fields of medicine. Inclusion in Atlanta Magazine Top Doctors is based solely upon one’s standing among peers.

AANA Masters Experience Course Instructor

Dr. Kercher was an instructor at a recent AANA (Arthroscopy Association of North America) masters course about cartilage replacement – a high tech, cutting edge procedure. He received the highest evaluation score possible.

Dr. Kercher has also been invited to speak at the upcoming AANA patellofemoral knee course. The primary audience of AANA’s patellofemoral masters experience course is orthopedic surgeons who desire to improve their arthroscopic knowledge and skill in patellofemoral surgery.

This hands-on course is designed to emphasize anatomic, diagnostic and technical pearls that will help optimize patient outcomes. Dr. Kercher will demonstrate new, proven, and safe approaches to patellofemoral surgery.

Publication in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

In the October 2019 issue of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), Dr. James Kercher is featured for his latest study on the best treatment for full-thickness osteochondral defects. These type of defects involve damage to cartilage and part of an underlying bone. Dr. Kercher takes a closer look as to whether allograft (tissue graft from a donor) or autograft (tissue graft from patient’s body) is the best option. Kercher’s findings show that osteochondral allograft transplantation is the preferred method with 80% of patients returning to high-level physical activity.

The AAOS was founded in 1933 and is a prominent leader and provider of musculoskeletal education to orthopaedic surgeons around the world. To read more on Dr. Kercher’s study: (PDF)

Humanitarian Efforts

Dr. Kercher is the co-founder and vice president of Orthopaedic Link, Inc. Orthopaedic Link is a nonprofit organization devoted to global allocation and distribution of idle and first generation orthopedic inventory to developing countries using modern supply chain technology.


  • Vitals Patients’ Choice Award (2014, 2016)
  • Vitals Compassionate Doctor Recognition (2015)

Letter From a Patient

Dr. Kercher and Nick Rossi, PA, recently treated a patient who wrote to acknowledge his deep appreciation and gratitude for the care he received after having two reverse shoulder replacements in a year.

To read the entire letter click here.


Testimonial from a Grateful Patient

For Ironman athletes, a leg injury can be devastating and possibly end one’s triathlon days. This was the possibility that faced Laura Sophiea until she met Dr. Jim Kercher. “He cared about who I was. He knew from my story that I was an athlete and that I wanted to continue to be an athlete.”