Hand, Wrist, and Elbow

The many bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the hand, wrist, arm, and elbow are particularly prone to injuries. Timely, proper treatment of any injury is essential for the overall, long-term health of the hand or arm. Without proper care, there’s potential for long-term pain, stiffness, arthritis, or limited mobility later in life.

The orthopaedic surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center are experts at evaluating, diagnosing, and treating minor and complicated hand, wrist, elbow, and upper arm injuries. In fact, we treat more wrist injuries than any hospital in Texas.

We also offer revisions to surgeries you may have had previously that weren’t as successful as expected, to help restore function. Whatever hand, wrist, elbow, or arm condition is affecting your life, the orthopaedic surgeons at UT Southwestern are ready to help you overcome it. 


Symptoms of hand, wrist, or arm injuries that may require surgery include:

  • Persistent or intermittent pain
  • Swelling of joints or tendons
  • Numbness or stiffness
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Abnormally bent joints
  • Noticeable bump or deformity


Conditions that may respond to surgical treatment include:

  • Fractures of the bones in the hand, wrist, or arm
  • Arthritis
  • Compression neuropathies, including the median, ulnar, and radial nerves
  • Repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and radial tunnel syndrome
  • Torn cartilage or ligaments
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Damaged nerves, tendons, or muscles
  • Degenerative conditions
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Sports-related injuries such as golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, skier’s thumb, and rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Overuse injuries
  • De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Hand tumors
  • Joint dislocations
  • Lacerations
  • Microvascular reconstruction, or replantation of fingers or limbs


Your orthopaedic surgeon at UT Southwestern will consider hand surgery or surgical treatment on your wrist, elbow, or arm only when all conservative nonsurgical options have been exhausted.

If surgery is required, we perform minimally invasive or open surgeries, based on your needs.

Minimally Invasive Techniques

Should you need surgery at UT Southwestern, we perform the least invasive procedures possible for your situation. Minimally invasive surgery requires a small incision and a tiny camera to be inserted into the surgical site to guide surgeons through the procedure. Surgeons then insert small surgical instruments through the incision to perform the surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery can be used to align and stabilize fractures of the wrist, repair torn cartilage or ligaments, remove ganglion cysts, ease arthritis pain, and much more. Each case is different, however, and may require different treatment. 

Minimally invasive techniques mean less scarring and a shorter recovery time, getting you back to your life quicker.

Open Surgery

Open surgery is required in some cases. With some fractures, for example, surgery may be required to align the bones and secure them in place, using pins, screws, plates, or surgical wires to hold the bones still so they heal properly.

With advancements in techniques, incisions are smaller than ever.

Your orthopaedic surgeon will advise you on recovery time, which varies depending on your injury and the type of surgery you have. After surgery, rehabilitation will help you improve function and regain strength and flexibility.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist at UT Southwestern or to learn more about our services, please fill out the Appointment Request form or call 214-645-8300.