Orthopedic Surgery

Hand and Arm Disorders Program

The Hand and Arm Disorders Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is the region's largest multidisciplinary center treating children with congenital deformities, injuries and tumors of the hand and arm.

The Hand and Arm Disorders Program is unique in that it is a true collaboration of form and function. Surgeons and clinical staff from two core divisions — orthopedics and plastic surgery — create a custom treatment plan for each child with a hand or arm disorder. By joining forces early in your child’s diagnosis, our team can work to enhance both the functionality and appearance of your child’s affected hand or arm.

Each year, our board-certified orthopedic and plastic surgeons perform more than 1,000 procedures on infants, children and teens with conditions ranging from missing and extra fingers to complicated arm fractures and bone tumors.

Most children take their hands and arms for granted. Yet, they are essential tools. They help your child pick up food, color a picture, throw a ball, button and zip clothing and perform a multitude of other everyday activities. Any problem with the bones, joints, muscles, tendons or ligaments in your child’s hand or arm can affect the entire structure, disrupting normal development and growth.

Because of the interconnectedness of the hand, wrist and forearm, treatment for disorders in these areas require clinicians to examine how possible treatment will affect other parts of the child’s anatomy. The goal of any treatment is to optimize your child’s function and quality of life.

Why choose us

Innovation and expertise of our multidisciplinary team

The Hand and Arm Disorders Program is led by orthopedic surgeons Bong S. Lee, MD, and Robert B. Carrigan, MD, and plastic surgeons Benjamin Chang, MD, and Ines C. Lin, MD. Combined, the program’s medical staff has nearly 100 years of experience treating a variety of hand and arm conditions in babies, children and teens.

Our surgeons perform some of the most complex microscopic surgical procedures in the world, including replantation, nerve grafting and reconstructive surgery.

Our team members are surgical innovators — constantly working to create and refine techniques to improve outcomes for children with hand and arm disorders. Dr. Lee is one of the pioneers who helped thumb reconstruction with toe transfer become a gold standard in care. Dr. Chang and Dr. Lin participated in one of the first successful hand transplants in the region. 

Treating children with bone issues is more complex than treating adults with the same conditions. Children's bones are still growing and lengthening; their growth plates have not fully fused. That’s why it is important to seek out experts who are specially trained to work with a child's unique physiology.

All four surgeons in CHOP’s Hand and Arm Disorders Program have extensive training and experience; two are board-certified in orthopedic surgery, two are board-certified in plastic surgery. Additionally, our doctors have completed a fellowship in hand surgery and earned a Certificate of Added Qualification in Hand Surgery.

Some of the surgical procedures available at CHOP include:

Our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, radiologists, advanced practice nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and others consider all possible treatment options for children with hand and arm disorders. If surgery is needed, our team works with pediatric anesthesiologists and pain specialists to make your child’s surgery as safe and comfortable as possible.

Integrated care to provide the best outcomes 

The Hand and Arm Disorders Program offers complete care for your child with a hand or arm anomaly, injury or tumor — from evaluation, to treatment and long-term follow up.

Through our program, your child will also have access to the full range of pediatric subspecialties and expertise available at CHOP. The Hospital shares the No. 1 spot on U.S. News & World Report's 2014-2015 Honor Roll of the nation's Best Children's Hospitals and CHOP's orthopedic care has consistently ranked in the top five in the country.

Our team brings together experts from the divisions of orthopedics, plastic surgery, genetics, radiology, oncology, neurosurgery, rehabilitation and more to determine your child’s diagnosis, treatment and follow up.

We offer a full spectrum of diagnostic testing including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), MRI reconstruction, computed tomography (CT) scans, X-rays, bone scans and more . With advanced testing modalities and expert clinicians, CHOP's Hand and Arm team can identify the specifics of your child’s hand or arm disorder and establish a customized, comprehensive treatment plan, including surgery if needed.

We examine and follow patients with hand and arm disorders at several locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. See our locations to find an office near you. 

If surgery is required, it will take place at CHOP's Main Campus in Philadelphia or at one of the CHOP’s ambulatory surgery centers, depending on the complexity of the surgery and whether your child will need to monitored overnight because of an underlying medical condition.

Research into disease origins and better treatments

Orthopedic clinicians at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are actively researching a range of hand and arm disorders and treatments. Orthopedic doctors regularly collaborate with The Center for Applied Genomics at CHOP, one of the world's largest genetics research programs and the only center at a pediatric hospital to have large-scale access to state-of-the-art throughput genotyping technology.

Current hand and arm research includes:

With research, orthopedic leaders at CHOP hope to be able to improve surgical techniques, range of motion and quality of life for children with hand and arm disorders.

Hand and arm conditions we treat 

Congenital disorders 

Some congenital hand conditions have associated craniofacial anomalies. Learn more about genetic conditions such as Apert's syndrome, Muenke syndrome, Pfeiffer syndrome and Saethre-Chotzen through the Neonatal Craniofacial Program



Meet our team

Orthopedic surgeons

Plastic surgeons

Nurse practitioner

Physician assistant

Contact us 

To schedule an appointment with the Hand and Arm Program, call 215-590-1527 or contact us online.

Reviewed by: Bong S. Lee, MD, and Benjamin Chang, MD
Date: April 2013 

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