Stephen J. Free, PA-C, ATC-L, MPAS

Stephen J. Free, PA-C, ATC-L, MPAS

Back, Neck & Spine

Board Certified Physician Assistant

Coastal Region

Wilmington – Shipyard
Leland – Brunswick Forest

Stephen Free holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in medical science and one in sports medicine from Alderson Broaddus College in Phillippi, West Virginia where he graduated magna cum laude. He graduated with master’s degree in physician assistant studies, focusing on orthopedic surgery, from the University of Nebraska Medical School.

Stephen has been a physician assistant with EmergeOrtho since 1998 and has a special interest and training in advanced surgery of the spine and knee. As part of the EmergeOrtho team headed by spine specialist Dr. Mark Rodger, Stephen specializes in following patients before and after spine surgery, as well as those with back and neck pain, degenerative disc disease, stenosis, MIS spine surgery, spinal fusion, and cervical and lumbar artificial disc replacement.


  • Undergraduate: Alderson Broaddus College, Phillippi
  • Graduate: University of Nebraska Medical School


  • Certified Physical Assistant
  • Certified Athletic Trainer

Specialties & Services

EmergeOrtho is full of wonderful doctors! They make sure they go over every little thing and explain stuff so that you understand. I have 4 different doctors here and have been pleased with them all.

Michelle M


They treat you with respect take the time to understand what your needs are and work toward that gold of fixing the problem. Very professional in everything they do I love going there for treatment can't say that about many healthcare systems. I recommend EmergeOrtho to everyone I see.

Ronnie W


A New Level Of Orthopedic Care Has Emerged

As our patient, you will benefit from a full range of orthopedic services, specialties and technologies, including physical and hand therapy, advanced imaging services, and urgent care walk-in services providing immediate diagnosis and treatment for urgent orthopedic conditions.