Robert B. Carrigan, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) specializing in the treatment of upper extremity conditions in children, including congenital conditions, traumatic injuries, sports medicine, microsurgery, nerve surgery and neuromuscular disease. He is also an attending surgeon in the Hand Transplantation Program.
Areas of Expertise:
Acquired/developmental problems of the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, Congenital hand and arm differences, Pediatric hand and upper extremity injuries, Shoulder reconstruction after brachial plexus injury, Fractures, Sports injuries, Syndactyly, Polydactyly, Thumb hypoplasia, Microsurgery, Peripheral nerve surgery, Complex elbow conditions, Acquired/developmental problems of the upper limb Locations:Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care; Specialty Care, King of Prussia; Middleman Family Pavilion
Robert B. Carrigan, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon at who specializes in the treatment of upper extremity conditions in children.
While Dr. Carrigan treats a broad array of conditions in the upper extremity, his clinical and research interest are in the treatment of complex elbow conditions in children. These conditions include both acute and chronic injuries, malunions (crooked arms), elbow instability, congenital conditions, stiff elbows, as well as nerve and vessel injuries about the elbow.
In addition to complex elbow problems, Dr. Carrigan also cares for infants and toddlers with congenital hand conditions, pediatric upper extremity fractures and children with cerebral palsy involving the upper limb.
Dr. Carrigan has been an invited speaker at national and international meetings. He actively serves on several committees within the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American Society for the Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA).
Dr. Carrigan has authored numerous scientific articles and book chapters focusing on the safe and effective care of the upper extremity in children. Recently, Dr. Carrigan and his colleagues examined national trends in complication rates involving upper extremity surgery in children in an attempt to better understand and prevent surgical complications for children undergoing surgery of the upper extremity. Recently, he and his colleagues at the AAOS published national guidelines for the safe and effective management of pediatric supracondylar humerus fractures.
In 2015, Dr. Carrigan and other surgeons at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia performed the first bilateral pediatric hand transplant. The Hand Transplantation Program aims to help children who have undergone unilateral or bilateral amputation of arms or hands to regain function and independence. Hand transplantation, or vascularized composite allo-transplantation, is a rare procedure performed by only a few surgical teams around the world.
A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Carrigan received his entire education within the state. He earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Carrigan completed his orthopaedic surgery residency and fellowship in hand surgery, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
When not caring for children with upper extremity conditions, Dr. Carrigan enjoys picking Legos ™ off the dining room floor with his wife and three children.
Education and Training
MD - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA (1999)
Orthopedic and General Surgery - Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Orthopedic Surgery - Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery - Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Surgery of the Hand – American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Titles and Academic Titles
Attending Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon
Attending Surgeon, Hand Transplantation Program
Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopedic Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Complex elbow conditions in children
Safe and effective strategies for surgery in children
Epidemiology of hand injuries in children
Does Irreducibility Always Mean A Complex Dislocation? An Analysis of 33 Pediatric Metacarpophalangeal Joint Dislocations. Bauder AR, Graham EM, Shubinets V, Mendenhall SD, Carrigan RB, Lin IC, Shah A, Chang B.Plast Reconstr Surg. 2023 Mar 22. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000010455. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36946903
Azoury SC, Milbar N, Kimia R, Nguyen JC, Othman S, McAndrew C, Kovach SJ, Carrigan RB, Steinberg DR, Bozentka DJ, Lin IC, Levin LS, Chang B.: Four-Year Follow-Up of the World's First Pediatric Bilateral HandForearm Transplants: Do They Grow as Expected? Plast Reconstr Surg Dec 2020.
Ho Michelle, Horn B David, Lin Ines C, Chang Benjamin, Carrigan Robert B, Shah Apurva: Musculoskeletal Injuries Resulting from Use of Hoverboards. Clinical pediatrics 57(1): 9922816687327, Jan 2018.
Gornitzky Alex L, Lin Ines C, Carrigan Robert B: The Diagnostic Utility and Clinical Implications of Wrist MRI in the Pediatric Population. Hand 13(2): 1558944717695752, Mar 2018. PMCID: PMC5950963.
Brusalis Christopher M, Thibaudeau Stephanie, Carrigan Robert B, Lin Ines C, Chang Benjamin, Shah Apurva S: Clinical Characteristics of Pyogenic Flexor Tenosynovitis in Pediatric Patients. The Journal of hand surgery 42(5): 388.e1-388.e5, May 2017.
Amaral S, Kessler SK, Levy TJ, Gaetz W, McAndrew C, Chang B, Lopez S, Braham E, Humpl D, Hsia M, Ferry KA, Xu X, Elder D, Lefkowitz D, Feudtner C, Thibaudeau S, Lin IC, Kovach SJ, Schwartz ES, Bozentka D, Carrigan R, Steinberg D, Kanchwala S, Zlotolow DA, Kozin S, Jensen FE, Bryant PR, Shaked A, Levine MH, Levin LS.: 18-month outcomes of heterologous bilateral hand transplantation in a child: a case report. Lancet Child Adolesc Health Sept 2017.
Gornitzky Alex L, Milby Andrew H, Gunderson Melissa A, Chang Benjamin, Carrigan Robert B. Referral Patterns of Emergent Pediatric Hand Injury Transfers to a Tertiary Care Center. Orthopedics. 2016 Mar 1;39(2):e333-9. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20160222-06. Epub 2016 Feb 25.
Nicholas Pulos, MD; Robert B. Carrigan, MD: Osteomyelitis as a Late Complication of Percutaneous Pinning of a Supracondylar Fracture of the Distal Part of the Humerus JBJS Case Connector 4(4), October 2014 Notes: 2014 Oct 22; 4 (4): e99 . http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.CC.N.00063
Thibaudeau Stephanie, Anari Jason B, Carducci Nicholas, Carrigan Robert B: 30-day readmission after pediatric upper extremity surgery: Analysis of the NSQIP database. Journal of pediatric surgery 51(8): 1370-4, Aug 2016.
Gornitzky, AL and Carrigan, RB: The Diagnostic Utility of MRI in the Painful Wrist: When to Reconsider Advanced Imaging in the Pediatric Patient. Pediatrics 137(Supplement 3 596A), February 2016.
Carrigan RB: Extensor Indicis to Extensor Digitorum Communis Transfer. Hand Surgery/ Tricks of the Trade. Thiem Publishing, June 2020.
Carrigan, RB: Fractures of the Hand and Wrist in Contemporary Management of Fractures and Complications, Jaypee, Philadelphia 2013, pp 116-139.
Carrigan, RB: The Upper Extremity (Chapter) in Nelson, Nelson Textbook in Pediatrics 19th Edition, Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2011, pp. 2383-2387.
Robert B. Carrigan: Pre and Post Axial Polydactyly. Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery, 2rd Edition. John M. Flynn, M.D.Wudbhav N. Sankar, M.D. (eds.). LWW, Volume 4(Chapter 81): 795-799, July 2021.
Robert B. Carrigan: Clinodactyly. Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery, 3rd Edition. John M. Flynn, M.DWudbhav N. Sankar, M.D. (eds.). LWW, Volume 4(Chapter 83): 807809, July 2021.
Robert B. Carrigan, M.D.: The Upper Limb. Nelson's Pediatrics, 21st Edition. Robert Kliegman, M.D. (eds.). Elsevier, 2(Chapter 701): 3651, June 2019.
Robert B. Carrigan: The Upper Limb. Nelson's Pediatrics, 20th Edition. Robert Kliegman, M.D. (eds.). Elsevier, 2(Chapter 681), May 2016.
Robert B. Carrigan: Pre and Post Axial Polydactyly. Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery, 2nd Edition. John M. Flynn M.D. Wudbhav N. Sankar, M.D. (eds.). LWW, Volume 4(Chapter 52): 1692-1696, July 2015.
Robert B. Carrigan: Clinodactyly. Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery, 2nd Edition. John M. Flynn, M.D. Wudbhav N. Sankar, M.D. (eds.). LWW, Volume 4(Chapter 54): 1504-1506, July 2015.
Robert B. Carrigan: The Upper Limb. Nelson's Pediatrics, 20th Edition. Robert Kliegman, M.D. (eds.). Elsevier,(Chapter 680), May 2015.
Robert B. Carrigan, M.D.: Extensor Tendon Injuries. The Pediatric Upper Extremity. Scott H. Kozin, M.D. (eds.). Springer, 3: 929-941, March 2015.
Robert B. Carrigan, M.D.: Fractures of the Hand and Wrist. Contemporary Surgical Management of Fracture and Complications. B. David Horn, M.D. Martin J. Herman, M.D. (eds.). Jaypee Brothers, 3: 116-139, October 2014.
Posters and Presentations
Lectures by Invitation
"Upper Extremity Case Symposia", POSNA Annual Meeting, Charlotte ,NC
"Thumb Hypoplasia", Adrian Flatt Residents and Fellows Conference, Austin TX
Carrigan RB. Current Concepts in the Management of Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy. Crozer Chester Medical Center; 2015 Jun; Upland, PA.
Carrigan RB. The Chronic Monteggia Lesion. POSNA Annual Meeting Subspecialty Day; 2015 May; Atlanta GA.
Carrigan RB. Congenital Precourse (Thumb Hypoplasia). American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting; 2014 Sep; Boston, MA.
Carrigan RB. Pediatric Hand Trauma. POSNA Annual Meeting; 2014 May; Hollywood, CA.
Awards and Honors
2022, Philadelphia Magazine's Top Doctors in Hand Surgery
e2015, ABC News Persons of the Week: July 31, 2015, Pediatric Hand Transplant
Editorial and Academic Positions
2012-present, Consultant reviewer, Journal of Hand Surgery
2014-present, Consultant reviewer, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Leadership and Memberships
Memberships in Professional Organizations
2005-present, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery
-2015, Appropriate Use Committee (AUC): Vascular Injury Associated with Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures
2005-present, American Society for Surgery of the Hand
- 2013-present, Residents and Fellows Conference Committee
2012-present, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
- 2013-present, Resident News Letter Committee
2015, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery
- 2015-present, Appropriate Use Committee (AUC): Vascular Injury Associated with Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures
- 2014-present, CAQH Test Validation Committee
Patient Experience Ratings
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