U.Va. Health System Opens New Hand Center

February 18, 2010 — The University of Virginia Health System has opened a Hand Center to treat conditions related to a wide range of ailments, including trauma, arthritis, nerve injuries, cancer, sports and overuse injuries. The U.Va. Hand Center team also handles workers' compensation cases for patients with workplace injuries involving their hands or upper extremities.

"The hand has a beautiful and complex anatomy confined to small spaces. Its repair requires a deep understanding of its parts along with a meticulous use of technique and equipment," said Dr. Abhinav "Bobby" Chhabra, vice chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Health System.
"People don't realize how important their hands are until they have an issue," said Chhabra, who is also division head for Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery and medical director of the new Hand Center. "Problems or injuries can affect work, sports, the ability to touch and other aspects of life."  
A staff of more than 20, including physicians, nurses, therapists, physician assistants, cast technicians and access specialists, staff the center, located at 415 Ray C. Hunt Drive in the Fontaine Research Park, on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The center combines the expertise of the departments of Orthopaedics and Plastic Surgery to deliver all necessary services under one roof. These services include casting, therapy, radiology services and minor procedures.

"During the winter season we see lots of fractures of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. We saw many such cases related to the recent snowstorms," Chhabra said.

Why go to a hand center? According to Chhabra, physicians who specialize in conditions of the hand and upper extremities require a separate qualification and rigorous additional training in hand surgery after training and board certification in orthopaedics or plastic surgery. This level of expertise and training helps ensure that their patients are able to resume life with the optimal use of their hands, elbows and shoulders and every part in between.  

For information, visit the center's Web site.

This story originally appeared on the U.Va. Health System Web site.