Hand and Upper Extremity Center


Ohio State’s team of experts will work with you to determine the best treatment for your hand or arm, including ways to manage pain and improve function.

Depending upon your injury or condition, you may need to:

  • Wear a splint, pad or assistive device to reduce movement or pressure and allow healing
  • Change your activities to limit painful movements
  • See an occupational therapist to help you regain strength, flexibility and range of motion
  • Massage the affected skin and tissues to improve blood flow, help with muscle relaxation and lessen scar tissue formation
  • Receive an injection into the site of inflammation
  • Take anti-inflammatory medicine to ease swelling and pain

An outpatient surgery may be needed to relieve pain and improve function. You and your doctor will decide whether surgery is right for you and what type of surgery may be best.

Hand, wrist, arm and elbow surgeries we perform

Hand, wrist, arm and elbow surgeries we perform

Bone Fracture Repair Surgery

For a simple fracture, a splint or cast may be used to protect the bone as it heals. Other fractures may need surgery.

  • Closed reduction surgery, with internal fixation, uses pins or wires to hold the bone pieces together without making an incision.
  • Some fractures need open reduction surgery where an incision is made to get to the bone pieces. Bone pieces are set in place and may be held together with pins, plates or screws.
  • External fixation uses a frame on the outside of the hand that is attached with pins to the bone above and below the injury.
  • Bone grafts may be needed if bone is missing or crushed. The bone graft may be taken from another part of your body.

Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve of the wrist. Surgery to relieve carpal tunnel is always done as an outpatient procedure. The doctor will cut the ligament that crosses over the carpal tunnel to lessen pressure on the median nerve. Surgery may not ease all your symptoms. It may take three to four months to gain strength and normal use of the hand after surgery.

Cubital Tunnel Release Surgery

Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the ulnar nerve at the elbow. The ulnar nerve goes down the arm and lies under the bone of the elbow, known as the funny bone. The nerve is right against the bone at that spot with little padding to protect it. Surgery to relieve cubital tunnel is often done as an outpatient procedure. The doctor may move the nerve to the front of the elbow or place it under more fat or muscle to protect it. Sometimes the bone is trimmed off to ease pressure on the nerve.

Elbow Joint Replacement

Joint replacement surgery is removing a damaged joint and putting in a new one. Sometimes, the orthopedic surgeon will not remove the whole joint, but will only replace or fix the damaged parts.

Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Arthroplasty

Arthritis in the thumb may be treated with outpatient surgery if other treatments have not helped. The doctor will make a small incision at your wrist. A bone at the base of the thumb, called the trapezium, is removed. A piece of your own tendon is used to put in place of the bone to form a false thumb joint. This allows movement of the thumb and stops pain because the bones are not rubbing together.

Life-changing wrist surgery: Ron’s story

When Ron started experiencing pain in his wrists, he knew it wasn’t something that would get better on its own. After researching the work being done at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, he found Kanu Goyal, MD, an orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgeon. From the very beginning, Ron was impressed with Dr. Goyal’s approach to patient care, and, after trying a variety of non-operative treatments for his wrist pain, Ron decided to have surgery. Ron explains why he considers coming to Ohio State the best decision of his life.

A closer look at hand and upper extremity surgery options

What is a hand surgeon?

Hand surgeons don’t just do carpal tunnel surgery, explains Hisham Awan, MD, they can actually perform surgeries on the entire upper extremity including the arm, elbow and shoulder.

Evaluating Treatment Options

While we start most patients with conservative treatment options, surgery might be needed. Hisham Awan, MD discusses what to expect in both the short and long-term.

Reducing Narcotics after surgery

In response to an opioid-addiction epidemic, Ohio State is relying more on non-narcotic pain management methods after surgery.

Wide Awake Hand Surgery

Kanu Goyal, MD, explains the benefits of the wide awake hand surgery approach, which can take as little as five minutes, including safety, convenience, cost savings and improved outcomes.

Minimally Invasive Hand Surgery

Hisham Awan, MD, explains how minimally invasive and arthroscopic surgery of the upper extremities minimize soft tissue damage and require smaller incisions.

Our providers who treat finger, hand, wrist, forearm, elbow and upper arm injuries or pain

Share this Page