Pacific Rim Orthopaedic Surgeons

Michael A. Thorpe

Michael A. Thorpe

MD Orthopedic Surgeon

  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) since 1992
  • Board Member of Washington State Orthopaedic Association (WSOA)
  • Washington State Medical Association (WSMA)
  • Whatcom County Medical Society (WCMS)


  • General Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Specialist
  • WWU Team Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Inpatient Joint Replacement specialist
  • General Orthopedic Surgery Specialist
  • Treats all general orthopedic conditions of Knees, Hips, Shoulders, Elbows, Ankle/Feet, CTS, Trigger Finger, etc.
  • Arthroscopic Surgery

Privileged Facility

  • Pacific Rim Outpatient Surgery Center
  • Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center
  • Bellingham Surgical Center

Board Certification: 1990, 2000, 2010

American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons

Medical Licensure: Since 1985

State of Washington


  • Residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Washington
  • Internship in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Washington
  • Medical School at the University of Iowa

Retired 12/31/2020

Dr. Michael Thorpe came to Whatcom County in 1988 from the University of Washington, taking over the practice of Dr. Milt Schayes, who first established this orthopedic surgery practice in 1968. Dr. Thorpe then recruited all of his partners, who together established Pacific Rim Orthopedic Surgeons in 2001.

Dr. Thorpe specializes in out-patient surgery and sports medicine, having been the Team Orthopedic Surgeon for Western Washington University since he arrived in 1988. Because he was a three-sport Division I college athlete, he understands the unique issues of the injured athlete. Knee, shoulder and hip problems dominate his practice, but he also performs routine foot and hand surgery, and emphasizes non-operative care of all problems, if applicable. He received the Patient’s Choice Award in 2011 and Washington State’s Best Doctors Award in 2010 and 2013.

In 2006 Dr. Thorpe developed the first out-patient joint replacement program in Washington at Pacific Rim Out-Patient Surgery Center as an alternative to hospitalization for the younger, healthier patients who wish to have their hip, knee or shoulder replacement utilizing a one-night stay and home therapy.

Dr. Thorpe and his wife, Sonja, have raised their five children in Bellingham, and are proud to claim Whatcom County as their home.

“Want to know more about outpatient joint replacement surgery? Check out Dr. Thorpe’s informational videos here:”

ConforMIS Customized Knee Replacement

Dr. Thorpe is proud to offer his patients the latest in customized knee replacement technology – iTotal from ConforMIS. ConforMIS customized knee replacements are designed to match the unique size and shape of each patient’s knee.

In traditional knee replacement surgery, the surgeon selects an “off-the-shelf” implant from a range of standard fixed sizes, and then has to make the necessary adjustments to fit the implant to the patient during the procedure. Because these off-the-shelf knee replacements aren’t designed to your specific anatomy, surgeons have to compromise on implant fit. This compromise may result in having implant overhang (implant hangs over the bone) or underhang (the implant is too small, leaving the bone exposed and uncovered). It could also result in an implant that isn’t aligned properly.

Clinical studies have demonstrated that these compromises on fit can cause residual pain after surgery. ConforMIS designs partial and total knee implants to fit the patient, not the other way around. Proven elements of standard knee replacement are combined with proprietary iFit Image-to-Implant® technology to create customized knee implants and surgical instrumentation that are designed to fit your knee’s natural shape and curves.

Dr. Thorpe and KOMO Radio’s Tom Hutyler discuss NFL ankle injuries.

Patient Testimonials