Shaun D. Mendenhall, MD, is an attending hand and plastic surgeon with the Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Oral Surgery and the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) who specializes in all aspects of reconstructive hand and upper-extremity surgery. He is part of CHOP’s hand and arm disorders team, the Penn Hand Transplantation team, and the Shriners Children’s Philadelphia hand surgery team, where he works together with leading experts to help children with complex upper-extremity conditions due to congenital differences, injuries, tumors, limb loss or paralysis.
After graduating with honors in surgery from medical school at the University of Utah, Dr. Mendenhall completed his plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Following his passion for hand surgery, he then completed a fellowship in orthopaedic hand and microvascular surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. As a hand surgery fellow, Dr. Mendenhall spent dedicated time at CHOP and Shriners Children’s, where he fell in love with pediatric hand surgery. His training from world-renowned hand surgeons at these institutions has enabled him to tackle the most complex pediatric hand surgery conditions at CHOP.
Dr. Mendenhall has special expertise in microvascular reconstruction of the extremities (both upper and lower) after major injuries or tumors, which involves transferring tissue from one part of the body to another via microsurgery. He also has expertise in peripheral nerve conditions, including nerve injuries, nerve lacerations, brachial plexus birth palsy and viral-induced paralysis due to acute flaccid myelitis.
Dr. Mendenhall is passionate about helping children who suffer from neuromuscular conditions that cause severe muscle tightness (spasticity) in their upper extremities such as cerebral palsy, pediatric stroke, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. He is one of only a few surgeons in the world who uses nerve surgeries (selective neurectomy) combined with tendon and muscle procedures to address spasticity and maximize function of the tight arm, hand and fingers.
Whether it is a child born without a limb or a person who has lost a finger, hand or leg due to trauma or cancer, Dr. Mendenhall also offers surgical treatments such as revisions and targeted muscle reinnervation that can make fitting a prosthesis easier, less painful and more functional. He has a special interest in helping older children with loss of fingers, thumb or part of the hand get fitted with partial hand prostheses and is actively engaged in studying outcomes of this unique treatment for partial hand and digit loss.
In 2018, Dr. Mendenhall received the F. William Bora Jr., MD, Excellence in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Award, named for a pioneering hand surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania. This award is given annually to a resident or fellow with significant contributions to the hand surgery literature. In 2019, he was nationally recognized by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand for his many contributions to hand surgery and was selected as a “Young Leader.” He has also consistently received “teacher of the year” awards, among other recognitions, for his passion in teaching surgery to the next generation.
Dr. Mendenhall’s research interests include hand transplantation, improving surgical techniques and outcomes, and the use of technology in surgical training. He is interested in innovative solutions for common hand problems, such as how to improve hand tendon repair using a stapler device instead of sewing each individual tendon. He was head of the team whose study about this device received the Joseph H. Boyes Award for best paper at the 2021 residents and fellows conference of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He also studies a procedure, called targeted muscle reinnervation, which reroutes nerves in children who have lost limbs in order to improve prosthesis function and reduce neuroma and phantom limb pain.
Outside of his practice, Dr. Mendenhall enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. They are avid Phillies fans. He also plays drums and has been a member of multiple rock bands. Outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and sailing are some of his favorite hobbies.
Dr. Mendenhall has expertise with the following conditions and procedures:
Amniotic band syndrome
Amputation revision (upper and lower extremity)
Apert’s hand (complex syndactyly)
Benign skin lesions of extremities
Bone nonunion repair
Bone reconstruction including vascularized bone transfer
Brachial plexus injuries and birth palsy
Burns or burn scars of hand and extremities
Cerebral palsy (hand and upper extremity)
Compression neuropathy (carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel, and Guyon’s canal syndrome)
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
Distal radius fractures
Exposed hardware of upper and lower extremities
Free flap reconstruction of extremities
Functional muscle transfer
Ganglion of wrist and hand
Hand and finger fractures
Hypoplasia of thumb or hand
Limb salvage (upper and lower extremity)
Lower-extremity reconstruction (trauma/cancer)
Nail-bed injury or deformity (hand)
Nerve injury/reconstruction (upper and lower extremities)
Mendenhall SD, Lutfy J, Graham E, Overschmidt B, Levin LS, Neumeister MW (2021). Technique for Rapid Hand Transplant Donor Procurement Through the Elbow. Hand (N Y), 16(3), 391-396.
Pannucci CJ, Fleming KI, Bertolaccini C, Agarwal J, Rockwell WB, Mendenhall SD, Kwok A, Goodwin I, Gociman B, Momeni A (2021). Optimal Dosing of Prophylactic Enoxaparin after Surgical Procedures: Results of the Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled FIxed or Variable Enoxaparin (FIVE) Trial. Plast Reconstr Surg, 147(4), 947-958.
Graham EM, Hendrycks R, Baschuk CM, Atkins DJ, Keizer L, Duncan CC, Mendenhall SD (2021). Restoring Form and Function to the Partial Hand Amputee: Prosthetic Options from the Fingertip to the Palm. Hand Clin, 37(1), 167-187.
Gandhi RA, Mendenhall SD, Severance G, Levy TJ, Ben-Amotz O, Levin LS (2020). Measuring Functional Outcomes After Bilateral Vascularized Composite Hand Allotransplantation: A Report of 3 Cases. J Hand Surg [Am], 45(12), 1123-1133.
Mendenhall SD, Sawyer JD, West BL, Neumeister MW, Shaked A, Levin LS (2019). Pediatric vascularized composite allotransplantation: What is the landscape for obtaining appropriate donors in the United States? Pediatr Transplant, 23(5), e13466.
Gittings DJ, Mendenhall SD, Levin LS (2019). A Decade of Progress Toward Establishing Regional Hand Trauma Centers in the United States. Hand Clin, 35(2), 103-108.
Mendenhall SD, Ben-Amotz O, Gandhi RA, Levin LS (2019). A Review on the Orthoplastic Approach to Lower Limb Reconstruction. Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery, 52(1), 17-25.
Mendenhall SD, Brown S, Ben-Amotz O, Neumeister MW, Levin LS (2018). Building a Hand and Upper Extremity Transplantation Program: Lessons Learned From the First 20 Years of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation. Hand (N Y), 15(2), 224-233.
Lutfy J, Pietak A, Mendenhall SD, Neumeister MW (2018). Clinical Application of Mathematical Long Bone Ratios to Calculate Appropriate Donor Limb Lengths in Bilateral Upper Limb Transplantation. Hand (N Y), 14(4), 523-529.
Gittings DJ, Mendenhall SD, Ben-Amotz O, Mirrer JT, Hardaker WM, Levin LS (2018). Preparation is the Only Shortcut You Need in Surgery: A Guide to Surgical Rehearsals for Hand and Upper Extremity Transplantation. Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg, 22(4), 137-140.
Mendenhall SD, Ginnetti MT, Sawyer JD, Verhulst SJ, West BL, Levin LS, Neumeister MW (2018). Prevalence and Distribution of Potential Vascularized Composite Allotransplant Donors, Implications for Optimizing the Donor-recipient Match. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open, 6(6), e1833.
Mendenhall SD, Ben-Amotz O, Mirrer JT, Mehta S, Glaser DL, Levin LS (June 2018). All Hope is Not Lost: Saving Limbs with the Orthoplastic Approach. University of Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Journal, 28, 78-80.
Feng S, Mendenhall SD, Ben-Amotz O, Mirrer JT, Zapolsky IJ, Levin LS (June 2018). Hand Transplantation in the Rat: Technical Refinements of the Rat Forelimb Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Model. University of Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Journal, 29, 81-82.
Mendenhall SD, Schmucker RW, Daugherty THF, Kottwitz KM, Reichensperger JD, Koirala J, Cederna PS, Neumeister MW (2017). A Microbiological and Ultrastructural Comparison of Aseptic versus Sterile Acellular Dermal Matrix as a Reconstructive Material and a Scaffold for Stem Cell Ingrowth. Plast Reconstr Surg, 140(1), 97-108.
Ruebhausen MR, Mendenhall SD, Neumeister MW, Berry NN (2017). Postsurgical Pyoderma Gangrenosum Following Carpal Tunnel Release: A Rare Disease Following a Common Surgery. Eplasty, 17, e10.
Mendenhall SD, Anderson LA, Ying J, Boucher KM, Neumayer LA, Agarwal JP (2017). The BREASTrial Stage II: ADM Breast Reconstruction Outcomes from Definitive Reconstruction to 3 Months Postoperative. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open, 5(1), e1209.
Mendenhall SD, Sawyer JD, Adkinson JM (2016). Artery-Only Ear Replantation in a Child: A Case Report With Daily Photographic Documentation. Eplasty, 16, e39.
Lyons DA, Mendenhall SD, Neumeister MW, Cederna PS, Momoh AO (2016). Aseptic versus Sterile Acellular Dermal Matrices in Breast Reconstruction: An Updated Review. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open, 4(7), e823.
Mendenhall SD, Schmucker RW, De la Garza M, Levin LS, Neumeister MW (2015). Osteosynthesis in Forearm Transplantation Using a Novel Ulnar-Shortening Osteotomy System for Simultaneous Both Bone Fixation. Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation, 2(3), 53-9.
Schmucker RW, Mendenhall SD, Reichensperger JD, Yang M, Neumeister MW (2015). Defining the Salvage Time Window for the Use of Ischemic Postconditioning in Skeletal Muscle Ischemia Reperfusion Injury. J Reconstr Microsurg, 31(8), 597-606.
Agarwal JP, Mendenhall SD, Anderson LA, Ying J, Boucher KM, Liu T, Neumayer LA (2015). The breast reconstruction evaluation of acellular dermal matrix as a sling trial (BREASTrial): design and methods of a prospective randomized trial. Plast Reconstr Surg, 135(1), 20e-28e.
Mendenhall SD, Anderson LA, Ying J, Boucher KM, Liu T, Neumayer LA, Agarwal JP (2015). The BREASTrial: stage I. Outcomes from the time of tissue expander and acellular dermal matrix placement to definitive reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg, 135(1), 29e-42e.
Mendenhall SD, Anderson LA, Ying J, Boucher KM, Neumayer LA, Agarwal JP (2014). Abstract 6: The BREASTrial: Breast Reconstruction Evaluation of Acellular Dermal Matrix as a Sling Trial, Design and Stage I Outcomes of a Randomized Trial. 133(3 Suppl), 13-14.
Shea JE, Garlick JW, Salama ME, Mendenhall SD, Moran LA, Agarwal JP (2014). Side-to-side nerve bridges reduce muscle atrophy after peripheral nerve injury in a rodent model. J Surg Res, 187(1), 350-8.
Agarwal JP, Mendenhall SD, Hopkins PN (2014). Medical student perceptions of plastic surgeons as hand surgery specialists. Ann Plast Surg, 72(1), 89-93.
Agarwal JP, Mendenhall SD, Moran LA, Hopkins PN (2013). Medical student perceptions of the scope of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Ann Plast Surg, 70(3), 343-9.
Skedros JG, Kiser CJ, Mendenhall SD (2011). A weighted osteon morphotype score outperforms regional osteon percent prevalence calculations for interpreting cortical bone adaptation. Am J Phys Anthropol, 144(1), 41-50.
Agarwal CA, Mendenhall SD 3rd, Foreman KB, Owsley JQ (2010). The course of the frontal branch of the facial nerve in relation to fascial planes: an anatomic study. Plast Reconstr Surg, 125 (2), 532-537.
Skedros JG, Mendenhall SD, Kiser CJ, Winet H (2009). Interpreting cortical bone adaptation and load history by quantifying osteon morphotypes in circularly polarized light images. Bone, 44(3), 392-403.
Amotz OB, Mendenhall SD, Wink J, Levin LS (2021). Wrist Pathology. In Farhadieh, R (Eds.), Plastic Surgery Principles and Practice (2nd). Elsevier.
Kruger EA, Ben-Amotz O, Mendenhall SD, Kovach SJ, Levin LS (2021). Microsurgical Reconstruction for the Mangled Limb. In Pensy RA, Ingari JV (Eds.), The Mangled Extremity: Evaluation and Management (1st). Springer.
Mendenhall SD, Zelenski NA, Ben-Amotz O, Kovach SJ, Levin LS (2020). Orthopaedic Evaluation of the Lower Extremity and the Concept of the Orthoplastic Approach. In Hong JP, Hallock GG (Eds.), Lower Extremity Reconstruction: A Practical Guide Thieme.
Severance G, Walsh L, Levy TJ, Mendenhall SD, Levin LS (2020). Restoration of Hand and Upper Extremity Function Using Transplantation. In Skirven T, Fedorczyk J, Feldscher S, Osterman AL, Amadio P, Shin E (Eds.), Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity (7th Edition). Elsevier.
Posters and Presentations
Reed ER, Hendrycks R, Graham EM, Rosales M, Mendenhall SD. Tendon Repairs at the Wrist Utilizing a Novel Tendon Stapler Device: An Efficiency and Biomechanical Study Across Different Experience Levels. American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. 2021.
Hendrycks R, Reed ER, Graham EM, Rosales M, Mendenhall SD. Efficiency and Learning Curve of Wrist Level Tendon Repairs Utilizing a Novel Tendon Stapler Device Across Different Skill Levels. American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. 2021.
Luo J, Kim R, Taylor C, Mahan MA, Mendenhall SD. Targeted Muscle Reinnervation of the Foot for Morton's Neuromas: An Anatomic Study. American Society for Peripheral Nerve Annual Meeting, Virtual. 2021.
Reed ER, Hendrycks R, Graham EM, Rosales M, Mendenhall SD. Tendon Repairs at the Wrist Utilizing a Novel Tendon Stapler Device: An Efficiency and Biomechanical Study Across Different Experience Levels. Adrian E. Flatt Residents and Fellows Conference American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. 2021.
Graham EM, Oliver JD, Hendrycks R, Mendenhall SD. Optimizing the Pulvertaft Weave: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of Biomechanical Studies. American Association for Hand Surgery Annual Meeting, Virtual. 2021.
Reed ER, Hendrycks R, Graham EM, Mendenhall SM. Flexor and Extensor Tendon Repairs at the Wrist Utilizing a Novel Tendon Stapler Device: An Efficiency and Biomechanical Study. Mountain West Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Virtual. 2021.
Graham EM, Oliver JD, Hendrycks R, Maglic D, Mendenhall SD. Alternative Tendon Repair Methods to the Pulvertaft Weave Technique: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Biomechanical Studies. Mountain West Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Virtual. 2021.
Mendenhall SD, Atkins D, Baschuk C, Duncan C, Lindborg K. Getting a Grip on Mechanical and Externally Powered Partial Hand Prosthetics, Surgical Protocols. The 2020 Virtual National Assembly of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association. 2020.
Mendenhall, SD. Brief Overview of Tendon Transfers for Restoration of Hand Function after Nerve Injury. Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Educational Webinar. 2020.
Mendenhall SD. Targeted Muscle Reinnervation for Upper and Lower Limb Loss, a Paradigm Shift in Treatment for Painful Neuromas and Phantom Limb Pain. Mountain West Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Snowmass Village, CO. 2020.
Graham E, Mendenhall SD. Utilizing Smart Phone Technology in Surgical Training. Annual Medical Student Research Program Symposium, Park City, UT. 2019/
Tieman J, Mendenhall SD, Mirrer JT, Ben-Amotz O, McAndrew C, Chang B, Levin LS. Variable Length Forearm Transplantation Using 3D-modeled Cutting Guides For Improved Pre-operative Planning and Osteosynthesis. Annual meeting of the Mountain West Society of Plastic Surgeons, Lake Tahoe, NV. 2019.
Awards and Honors
2020, Resident Teacher of the Year Award, University of Utah Division of Plastic Surgery
2019, Young Leaders Program, American Society for Surgery of the Hand
2018, F. William Bora Jr. Excellence in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Award, Commencement Ceremony, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
2017, ISVCA Young Investigator Scientific Travel Award, International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation, The Transplantation Society, Salzburg, Austria
2017, First Place Award, Best Research Presentation, Illinois Society of Plastic Surgeons, Chicago, IL
2017, Best Basic Science Research Presentation, Annual SIU Department of Surgery Resident Research Day, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
2017, Researcher Spotlight, The Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF) Funded Research, American Society of Plastic Surgeons Plastic Surgery News, Arlington Heights, IL
2016, Resident Bowl Championship Team (1st Place), American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA
2016, Top 10 Finalist, National Resident Award for Exemplary Teaching, American College of Surgeons, Chicago, IL
2016, Resident “Excellence in Teaching” Award, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
2015, Best Presentation Award, Breast Reconstruction Session II, Resident Abstracts Session, American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Boston, MA
2015, 2nd Best Research Presentation, American College of Surgeons, Illinois Chapter, Peoria, IL
2015, Best Basic Science Research Presentation, Midwestern Association of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL
2015, Resident “Excellence in Teaching” Award, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
2014, Best Paper Presentation, Breast Session, American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL
2014, Resident “Excellence in Teaching” Award, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
2013, Best Paper Presentation, Breast I Session, American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA
2013, Resident “Excellence in Teaching” Award, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
2012, 2nd Best Basic Science Research Presentation, Midwestern Association of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL
2012, 2nd Best Basic Science Research Presentation, Annual SIU Department of Surgery Resident Research Day, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
2012, Resident “Excellence in Teaching” Award, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
2011, Edward W. Nelson M.D. Distinguished Student of Surgery Award, University of Utah School of Medicine, commencement ceremony, Salt Lake City, UT
2011, Best Research Presentation, Surgery Honors Symposium, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT
2007, Undergraduate Research Scholar Distinction, B.A., University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
2002, Biology Teaching Assistant of the Year, Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Editorial and Academic Positions
2020-present, Orthoplastic Surgery Journal
Leadership and Memberships
Memberships in Professional Organizations
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
American Association for Hand Surgery
American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons
American Society for Reconstructive Transplantation
American Society for Surgery of the Hand
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation
Plastic Surgery Research Council
The Transplantation Society
Patient Experience Ratings
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