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Hand Surgery | Orthopedic Plastic Surgery

Hand & Microvascular Surgery Program Approach

Hand & Microvascular Surgery

UCLA Hand Center is a multidisciplinary collaborative program between hand surgeons from the department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with hand injuries and pathological disorders affecting the hand.

Physicians from other departments such as radiologists, rheumatologists, neurologists and pediatricians collaborate in the Hand Center. Patients can consult with the hand surgeons and undergo specialized testing by other members of the team during the same initial visit.

The Hand Center provides convenient access to diagnostic services, such as radiology, as well as treatment areas for splint and cast fabrication and specific modalities of hand therapy.

After reconstructive hand surgery, patients can be evaluated by both the hand surgeon and a dedicated hand therapist and undergo a supervised program of hand therapy and rehabilitation in the same office setting.

Coordination of patient care promotes continuity and convenience for patients with hand problems. Close coordination occurs between the Hand Center and the UCLA Emergency Center, a Level 1 trauma center, and our clinical and surgical practice at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. The hand team also provides care at hand clinics at UCLA-affiliated hospitals, such as Olive View Medical Center and the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Hospital.

The exchange of information through teaching clinics and operating sessions creates a mechanism for constantly improving patient care, especially for difficult diagnostic or reconstructive cases.

Conditions Treated


Traumatic Injuries of the Hand

  • Amputations of the fingers and hand
  • Flexor and extensor tendon injuries
  • Fractures and dislocations of the hand and wrist
  • Microsurgical replantation and revascularization
  • Peripheral nerve injuries of the upper extremity

Pathologic Conditions

  • Chronic wrist pain
  • Congenital deformities of the hand in children
  • Nerve compression syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndromes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the hand
  • Tumors of the hand

The acknowledged national reputation of the microsurgeons at UCLA marks the Hand Center as a premier institution, able to perform successful replantation of amputated digits and limbs and to revascularize and reconstruct severe injuries of the upper extremity.

Specialized consultations include:

Peripheral Nerve Injuries and Brachial Plexus
The hand surgeons and a neurologist collaborate to diagnose and treat patients with peripheral nerve injuries of the upper extremity by means of nerve grafting and tendon transfers. 

Arthritis of the Hand Clinic
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis affecting hand function can be evaluated by a hand surgeon and a rheumatologist, together with a hand therapist. The goal is to provide optimal restoration of hand function through medical treatment, assistive splinting or surgical reconstruction.

Children's Congenital Hand Anomalies
A multidisciplinary team consisting of a pediatrician, geneticist, social worker, occupational therapist and prosthetist can assist the hand surgeon in the diagnosis and surgical reconstruction of congenital deformity affecting children's hands.

Wrist Pain
Patients with chronic wrist pain can be evaluated in collaboration with radiologists using sophisticated imaging techniques such as arthrograms, CT and MRI . Treatment may include minimally invasive surgery (arthroscopy).

Research Applications

Needle aponeurotomy offers a quicker procedure with fewer complications, less pain and faster recovery. Surgeons from the UCLA Hand Center are involved in clinical and basic research in the following areas:

  • Biomechanics of the wrist
  • Congenital deformities of the hand
  • Limb transplantation
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Tendon healing

Physicians

Prosper Benhaim, MD
Director, Hand Surgery Program
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Kodi Azari, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
 

Indications for Patient Referral

Any patient with a traumatic injury to the hand, wrist or upper extremity will be seen as an emergency by a hand surgeon from the UCLA Hand Center. Patients with non-emergent problems of their hands will be seen at the earliest availability in the hand surgeon's regular clinic, or in one of the specialized Hand Clinics.

Contact Us

Information and appointments: (310) 319-1234.

On-line appointment request form.

Each patient's referring physician and/or family doctor will be kept informed of the findings and treatment progress by telephone, letter or facsimile report. Patients will be returned to the care of referring physicians.

A coordinator dedicated to the UCLA Hand Center is available at all times to expedite the emergency referral of any patient with a traumatic hand injury and will also facilitate communication with referring physicians as well as insurance carriers and workers' compensation. 

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