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January 24, 2011

UVA Health System opens new hand center

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“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.”

Dr. Bobby Chhabra, vice-chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Virginia Health System, describes his love for what he does and his desire to help people improve the way they maneuver through life.

“People don’t realize how important their hands are until they have an issue,” says Chhabra, who is also division head for Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery and medical director of the new University of Virginia Health System Hand Center. “Problems or injuries can affect work, sports, the ability to touch and other aspects of life.”

For this reason, a specialty-trained staff of more than 20 people, including physicians, nurses, therapists, physician assistants, cast technicians and access specialists commit solely to this part of the anatomy from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days per week at the new UVA Hand Center. Here, patients with congenital conditions, injuries, and arthritis of the hand, wrist, arm and elbow, receive care. Arthritis and fractures of the shoulder are also treated. The UVA Hand 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 (x-ray, MRI, CT), and minor procedures.

Chhabra’s team sees conditions related to trauma, arthritis, nerve injuries, cancer, sports and overuse injuries. The UVA Hand Center team also handles workman compensation cases for patients with workplace injuries involving their hands or upper extremities.

“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 snow storms,” says Chhabra.

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 high 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.

The Hand Center is located off of Interstate 64 at 415 Ray C Hunt Drive in the Fontaine Research Park. The Hand Center was carefully designed to help clinicians deliver optimal care and to give patients the best experience possible. What’s more, the UVA Hand Center is green! Recycled materials were used to construct various areas of the location. Energy efficient appliances further reduce the center’s impact on the environment.

For more information, please visit the University of Virginia Hand Center website at: or contact the Hand Center at 434-982-HAND (4263) or 866-882-HAND.

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