Dr. john paul elton

Dr. Elton is an avid cyclist and enjoys skiing and snowboarding, as well as camping and hiking with his wife and three children.

Dr. Elton is an avid cyclist and enjoys skiing and snowboarding, as well as camping and hiking with his wife and three children.

Dr. John Paul Elton believes that listening to his patients is the most important diagnostic tool at his disposal. The Harvard-trained foot and ankle specialist knows from experience that “where it hurts” is not always the actual cause of the complaint.

Dr. Elton’s fellowship training has given him the expertise to handle the full spectrum of foot and ankle disorders: from sports injuries and fractures to nerve and tendon disorders, deformities, and chronic pain. He emphasizes that most non-traumatic injuries can be resolved with non-operative treatment.

Philosophically, Dr. Elton will recommend surgical intervention only when other non-operative treatments have failed. A good surgeon, in his opinion, is first and foremost a good doctor: listening to a patient to understand how the injury or illness fits into the larger context of the patient’s life.

Dr. Elton is excited about innovations in joint replacement and the implications this may have for the foot and ankle. As people are enjoying longer and healthier lives, the desire to stay active is fueling the research that will make ankle replacement a viable option for many patients.

After completing his orthopaedic surgery residency in San Antonio, Texas, and his fellowship training in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Elton is delighted to be back in Colorado where he completed his undergraduate and medical school education. Dr. Elton is an avid cyclist and enjoys skiing and snowboarding, as well as camping and hiking with his wife and three children.

Education & Training

  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering: University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO

  • Doctor of Medicine: University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO

  • Orthopaedic Surgery Residency: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

  • Harvard Medical School: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA. Foot and Ankle Fellowship.


  • Board Certification: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Professional Associations

  • American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons

  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society

Hospital Affiliations

  • St. Anthony Summit Medical Center

  • Vail Valley Medical Center

  • Vail Valley Surgery Center

  • Peak One Surgery Center


  • WSMRF Subspecialty Award, Western Student Medical Research Forum, 2003

  • Outstanding Research Poster Presentation, UCHSC Student Research Forum, 2001

  • Henry J. Tumen Research Fellowship, Gastroenterology, Graduate Hospital, 2001

  • Undergraduate Research Grant, University of Colorado, 1997, 1998, 1999

  • University of Colorado Study Abroad Scholarship, 1996

  • College of Engineering Dean’s List, University of Colorado, Spring 1995, Fall 1996

  • Omega Chi Epsilon, Chemical Engineering Honor Society, 1995, 1999


Resident Research Project, UTHSCSA, San Antonio, Texas 
Analysis of Resident’s Ridge and the Functional Anatomy of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, and anatomic study using arthroscopy and MRI data;
Study of the use of Nitinol staples for vertebral body fixation, a porcine cadaveric study of the pullout strength of vertebral instrumentation augmented with Nitinol staples.

Research Fellow, Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Clinical study of esophageal motility using esophageal manometry and multichannel intraluminal impedance.

Research Associate, Sulzer Orthopedics Inc., Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Coordinated clinical trials assessing efficacy of bone and meniscus allograft material. Development of in-vitro and in-vivo immunoassays, protein purification (Chromatography, Electrophoresis). Cell culture management and project development.

Harvard Brigham Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Technique for limited open achilles tendon repair with ring forceps in the foot and ankle in the Foot and Ankle International  (October 2010). 

The role of physical therapy after repair of achilles tendon ruptures.