Orthopaedic hand and upper extremity specialists are medical doctors (MD) who specialize in the diagnosis, care, and treatment of patients with disorders of the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, arm, and shoulder. This includes the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves, and skin.
Orthopaedic hand and upper extremity surgeons use medical, physical, and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery to treat patients of all ages. They manage and treat trauma of the hand and upper extremity, perform reconstructive procedures and microsurgery, treat sports injuries, and can treat general orthopaedic problems as well.
Orthopaedic Hand & Upper Extremity surgeons have the following credentials:
- Completed four years of medical school - the curriculum covers basic and clinical sciences, surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine and all other medical specialties
- Completed five years of accredited residency training in orthopedic surgery, along with research in the field
- Advanced fellowship training in Hand & Upper Extremity surgery
- Satisfactory completion of the national medical licensing examination
- Continuing medical education credits over a specific time period
- Board certification through the American Board of Medical Examiners, specifically, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS)
- Hold membership in other national organizations such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH)