Stephen M. Howell, M.D.
Specializing in Kinematically Aligned Total Knee Replacement & Anatomic ACL Reconstruction
Watch this brief video to learn about Dr. Howell.
Dr. Howell is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon practicing in Sacramento and Lodi. He joined Adventist Health Lodi Memorial with more than three decades of experience as a clinician, researcher, and innovator in total knee replacement (TKR), anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, and meniscal surgery.
Dr. Howell has trained physicians on five continents and worked together with industry experts to offer the exciting approach to total knee replacement (TKR) called kinematic alignment. This alignment method for TKR is an innovative technique he developed in 2005 to improve placement of the orthopedic implants that form the new knee, resulting in more consistency and reliability in patient outcomes. Importantly, this approach allows for shorter lengths of stay and quicker return to prior function. According to ProPublica, Dr. Howell’s readmission, complication and infection rates after total knee replacement are among the lowest in the nation and he is considered among the Top 3% of California knee replacement surgeons.
In the field of ACL reconstruction, Dr. Howell is the designer of the 65° Tibial Guide and EZLoc/WasherLoc anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction system for Zimmer Biomet Sports Medicine. This advanced procedure enables patients to rapidly recover motion and function without bracing, and return to sports and other activities just four to five months after ACL reconstruction. He is also a consultant for Biomet Sports Medicine and has developed instrumentation, implants, and educational materials for ACL reconstruction, which are used nationally and internationally.
For the last 24 years Dr. Howell studied the biomechanics of the knee at the University of California, Davis as an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering in collaboration with Distinguished Professor Maury Hull, PhD. These investigations led to the publication of more than 140 scientific articles that advanced the understanding and treatment of patients with degenerative arthritis of the knee, and tears of the anterior cruciate ligament and menisci.
Truly a leader in his field, Dr. Howell is known for his professional manner and care for his patients. He completed his medical degree at Northwestern University and then completed his orthopedic residency at Thomas Jefferson University. He is a retired military professional who served our country during such critical times as Operation Desert Storm.
Dr. Howell has been married 36 years to Lydia Pleotis Howell, M.D. who is the chairperson of the Department of Pathology at UC Davis. They have two daughters, Stephanie who works at LinkedIn and Stacey who is a third-year resident in internal medicine at UC Davis. When not seeing patients or operating, Dr. Howell likes to fly-fish and play a bit of golf. He stays active by walking, swimming, and cycling.