Apurva S. Shah, MD, MBA, is an attending pediatric orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in pediatric hand and upper extremity surgery.
Areas of Expertise:
Brachial plexus birth palsy, Congenital hand and arm differences, Hand and upper limb fractures, Sports injuries, Hand and upper limb tumors, Acute flaccid myelitis, Cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders Locations:Specialty Care, Virtua; Specialty Care, Abington
Dr. Shah is passionate about caring for children with congenital hand and arm differences (anomalies). Watching these children grow and adapt to the world reminds him daily “to live life with a heart full of courage and joy.”
Although many congenital hand problems are rare, Dr. Shah has extensive experience treating a variety of conditions, including:
Radial longitudinal deficiency
Amniotic band syndrome
Pseudoarthrosis of the clavicle
Congenital radial head dislocation
Congenital radioulnar synostosis
Dr. Shah serves as the Director of Clinical Research in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is a member of several multicenter research networks including Plexus Nexus and the Congenital Upper Limb Differences (CoULD) Registry. He has received several grants for hand and upper extremity research including funding from the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF). POSNA recently awarded Dr. Shah the Angela S.M. Kuo Memorial Award, which is given annually to an outstanding young investigator.
He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, reviews and textbook chapters. Over the last several years, Dr. Shah’s research has pioneered the use of text messaging to communicate with families after surgery in order to better understand post-operative pain and opioid use. This research has changed the way children recover from orthopaedic surgery by decreasing pain while limiting opioid use. “Our team is focused on getting children back to their home, school, playground and sports field as quickly as possible. Kids need nothing more than to be kids.”
Dr. Shah earned his bachelor's degree in Economics at Yale University, his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and his MBA at Columbia Business School. He completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Michigan followed by the Harvard Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship. During fellowship, Dr. Shah began to appreciate “the wonder and beauty of a child’s hand.” Before long, he realized that pediatric hand surgery was his “path in life.” Dr. Shah pursued advanced training in pediatric hand and upper extremity surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital where he developed expertise in the management of brachial plexus birth injuries and the reconstruction of complex congenital hand differences.
Dr. Shah travels internationally to provide hand surgery and care to children in underserved areas. He has collaborated with the Touching Hands Project (THP) to develop a sustainable hand surgery program in Honduras. He has been happily married for over 15 years and has two energetic, young children. Dr. Shah enjoys cycling, tennis, travel, and (win or lose) Philadelphia Eagles football.
Second opinion for complex cases
Children with hand and upper limb disorders travel from all over the country to obtain world-class care at CHOP. If your family has been told your child may need surgery, and you would like an expert opinion from Dr. Shah, the CHOP Orthopaedics Nurse Navigator can coordinate travel arrangements and assist in streamlined access to the personalized care and excellence that CHOP and Dr. Shah have to offer.
Education and Training
MD - Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY
Orthopaedic Surgery - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, MI
Harvard Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship – Harvard Medical School, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Pediatric Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Orthopaedic Surgery – American Board of Orthopaedic SurgerySurgery of the Hand – American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
MBA - Columbia University, Graduate School of Business, New York, NY
Titles and Academic Titles
Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon
Co-director, Brachial Plexus Injury Program
Director of Orthopaedic Research
Assistant Professor, Orthopedic Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Health services, activity-based costing, and cost-effectiveness
Post-operative pain and opioid use
Bauer AS, Kalish LA, Adamczyk MJ, Bae DS, Cornwall R, James MA, Lightdale-Miric N, Peljovich AE, Waters PM, Foad M, Hentz VR, Little K, Mehlman CT, Shah A, Stevanovic M, Yakuboff K, Allgier A, Brustowicz KA, Connell P, Desai B, Eckstein K, Gregoire V, Hennrikus WP, Jackson MD, Kaufman BM, Leshikar H, Lewine EB, Lynch H, Molnar EE, Morscher MA, Reiff ES, Shah AK, Tartarilla AB, Travers L, Yu R and the Treatment and Outcomes of Brachial Plexus Injury (TOBI) Study Group. Microsurgery for brachial plexus injury before versus after 6 months of age: results of the multicenter treatment and outcomes of brachial plexus injury (TOBI) study. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2020;102:194-204. PMID: 31770293
Mellor X, Buczek MJ, Adams AJ, Lawrence JTR, Ganley TJ, Shah AS. Collection of common knee patient-reported outcome instruments by automated mobile phone text messaging in pediatric sports medicine. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 2020;40:e91-e95. PMID: 31107346
Jackson TJ, Shah AS, Buczek MJ, Lawrence JTR. Simulation training of orthopaedic residents for distal radius fracture reduction improves radiographic outcomes. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 2020;40:e6-e13. PMID: 30969197
Adams AJ, Buczek MJ, Flynn JM, Shah AS. Perioperative ketorolac for supracondylar humerus fracture in children decreases postoperative pain, opioid usage, hospitalization cost, and length of stay. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 2019;39:e447-e451. PMID: 30720556
Shah AS, Kalish LA, Bae DS, Peljovich AE, Cornwall R, Bauer AS, Waters PM and the Treatment and Outcomes of Brachial Plexus Injuries (TOBI) Study Group. Early predictors of microsurgical reconstruction in brachial plexus birth palsy. The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal 2019;39:37-43. PMID: 31413672
Meirick T, Shah AS, Dolan LA, Weinstein SL. Determining the prevalence and costs of unnecessary referrals in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal 2019;39:57-61. PMID: 31413675
Striano BM, Brusalis CM, Flynn JM, Talwar D, Shah AS. Operative time and cost vary by surgeon: an analysis of supracondylar humerus fractures in children. Orthopedics 2019;42:e317-e321.
Gholson JJ, Shah AS, Buckwalter JA 4th, Buckwalter JA 5th. Long-term clinical and radiographic follow-up of preaxial polydactyly reconstruction. Journal of Hand Surgery Am 2019;44:244.e1-244.e6. PMID: 30853062
Nelson SE, Adams AJ, Buczek MJ, Anthony CA, Shah AS. Postoperative pain and opioid use in children with supracondylar humerus fractures: balancing analgesia and opioid stewardship. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2019;101:119-126. PMID: 30653041
DeFrancesco CJ, Shah DK, Rogers BH, Shah AS. The epidemiology of brachial plexus birth palsy in the United States: declining incidence and evolving risk factors. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 2019;39:e134-e140. PMID: 29016426
Jackson TJ, Shah AS, Arkader A. Is routine spine MRI necessary in skeletally immature patients with MHE? Identifying patients at risk for spinal osteochondromas. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 2019;39:e147-e152. PMID: 29016429
Gandhi RA, DeFrancesco CJ, Shah AS. The association of clavicle fracture with brachial plexus birth palsy. Journal of Hand Surgery Am 2019;44:467-472. PMID: 30685136
Koehler DM, Balakrishnan R, Lawler EA, Shah AS. Endoscopic versus open carpal tunnel release: a detailed analysis using time-driven activity-based costing at an academic medical center. Journal of Hand Surgery Am 2019; 44:62.e1-62.e9. PMID: 29903541
Buterbaugh KL, Jebson PJL, Wysocki RW, Shah AS. Infections of the upper extremity: new developments and challenges. Instructional Course Lectures 2019;68:141-152. PMID: 32032035
Zelenski NA, Shah AS. Improving value delivery for children with congenital hand differences. Techniques in Orthopaedics 2019;34:26-29.
Balakrishnan R, Koehler DM, Shah AS. Time-drive activity-based costing: lessons from an application in healthcare. Accounting Horizons 2018;32:31-47. PMID: NA
Holt JB, Glass NA, Shah AS. Understanding the epidemiology of pediatric supracondylar humeral fractures in the United States: identifying opportunities for intervention. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 2018; 38:e245-e251. PMID: 29462120
DeFrancesco CJ, Shah AS, Brusalis CM, Flynn K, Leddy K, Flynn JM. Rate of open reduction for supracondylar humerus fractures varies across pediatric orthopaedic surgeons: a single-institution analysis. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 2018;32:e400-e407. PMID: 30247284
Anthony CA, Volkmar A, Shah AS, Willey M, Karam M, Marsh JL. Communication with orthopaedic trauma patients via an automated mobile phone messaging robot. Telemedicine and e-Health 2018;24:504-509. PMID: 29261036
Racimo AR, Talathi NS, Zelenski NA, Wells L, Shah AS. How much will my child's operation cost? Availability of consumer prices from US hospitals for a common pediatric orthopaedic surgical procedure. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 2018;38:e411-e416. PMID: 29727409
DeFrancesco CJ, Rogers BH, Shah AS. Obesity increases risk of loss of reduction after casting for diaphyseal fractures of the radius and ulna in children: an observational cohort study. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 2018;32:e46-e51. PMID: 28902088
Jackson TJ, Blumberg TJ, Shah AS, Sankar WN. Inappropriately timed pediatric orthopaedic referrals from the emergency department result in unnecessary appointments and financial burden for patients. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 2018;38:e128-e132. PMID: 29324529
Anthony CA, Lawler EA, Ward CM, Lin IC, Shah AS. Use of an automated mobile phone messaging robot in postoperative patient monitoring. Telemedicine and e-Health 2018;24:61-66. PMID: 28622079
Ho M, Horn BD, Lin IC, Chang BC, Carrigan RB, Shah AS. Musculoskeletal injuries resulting from use of hoverboards. Clinical Pediatrics 2018;57:31-35. PMID: 28110548
Miller DJ, Nelson SE, Shah AS, Ganley TJ, Flynn JM. Outpatient pediatric orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic Clinics of North America 2018;49:55–62. PMID: 29145984
Vuillermin C, Shah AS. Modified Woodward repair of Sprengel deformity. In Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery, 3rd Edition. Wiesel S, ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. (accepted for publication)
Shah AS, Waters PM. Reconstruction for missed Monteggia lesion. In Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery, 3rd Edition. Wiesel S, ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. (accepted for publication)
Brighton B, Bae DS, Shah AS. Quality, safety and value. In Orthopaedic Knowledge Update:Pediatrics, 6th Edition. Martus J, ed. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont, IL. (accepted for publication)
Shah AS. Limb deficiency and prosthetics. In Orthopaedic Knowledge Update: Pediatrics, 6th Edition. Martus J, ed. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont, IL. (accepted for publication)
Caird MS, Shah AS. Upper extremity fractures. In Lovell and Winter's Pediatric Orthopaedics, 8th Edition. Flynn JM, Weinstein S, eds. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. 2020.
Abzug JA, Shah AS. Physeal growth and injury. In The American Society for Surgery of the Hand Textbook of Hand and Upper Extremity, 2nd Edition. Weiss APC, Goldfarb CA, Hentz VR, Raven RB, Slutsky DJ, Steinmann SP, eds. American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Chicago, IL. 2019.
Shah AS, Samora J. Monteggia fracture-dislocation in children. In Rockwood and Green’s Fractures in Children, 9th Edition. Flynn JM, Skaggs DL, Waters PM, eds. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. 2018.
Gordon J, Shah AS. Open treatment of metacarpal shaft fractures. In Pediatric Orthopedic Trauma Case Atlas. Iobst C, Frick SL, eds. Springer, New York, NY. 2018.
Awards and Honors
2022, SJ Mag's Top Docs in Orthopedics
2020, Angela S.M. Kuo Memorial Award, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) — Recognition for an outstanding young investigator with provision of grant funding to help promote a long-term research career for that individual
2019, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) and SLAOTI Traveling Fellowship Award
2019, Best Clinical Article Award: "Operative time and cost vary by surgeon: an analysis of supracondylar humerus fractures in children," Orthopedics
2017-2019, Top Physician, Pediatric Orthopaedics, South Jersey Magazine
2017, Clinical Award Paper Nominee: "Flexion supracondylar humerus fractures: ulnar nerve deficit is a risk for open reduction," European Paediatric Orthopaedic Society (EPOS) and Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA)
2017, Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) Grant: Opioid utilization after rotational ankle fractures: a prospective interventional study utilizing mobile phones and software communication
2016, Peter Armstrong Award for the Best Quality, Safety, Value Paper: Determining the prevalence and costs of unnecessary referrals in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA)
2016, American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) Grant: Long-term follow-up following surgical reconstruction for pre-axial polydactyly
2016, Safe Keeping Achievement Award for Paper at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Annual Quality and Safety Day: A dedicated orthopaedic trauma operating room improves efficiency at a pediatric center, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
2016, Peter Armstrong Award for the Best Quality, Safety, Value Paper: "Determining the prevalence and costs of unnecessary referrals in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis," Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA)
2015, Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Grant: Time-driven activity based cost analysis of open vs. endoscopic carpal tunnel release
2015, Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Grant: Randomized controlled study examining the long term effectiveness of trigger finger injections with triamcinolone vs. dexamethasone
2015, Best Poster at 2015 Mid-America Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting: Patient factors systematically influence hospital length of stay in common orthopaedic procedures, Mid-America Orthopaedic Association
2014, Young Leaders Program, American Society for Surgery of the Hand
2014, POSNA Directed Research Grant, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA): Improving value delivery in pediatric distal radius fracture care
2014, Young Leaders Program, American Society for Surgery of the Hand
2014, Semifinalist for Roger A. Mann Award: Time and money: do Medicare RVUs match physician time requirements for orthopaedic procedures?, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS)
2014, Clinical Award Paper Nominee: Time and money: do Medicare RVUs match physician time requirements for orthopaedic procedures?, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA)
2009 – 2010, Administrative Chief Resident, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan Hospitals
Editorial and Academic Positions
02/13 – present, Consultant Reviewer, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
04/13 – present, Consultant Reviewer, Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Leadership and Memberships
Memberships in Professional Organizations
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH)
American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS)
Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA)
Pediatric Hand Study Group
Patient Experience Ratings
About the Patient Experience Rating System
The Patient Experience Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown above from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.
Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.
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Comments are shared internally for education purposes to ensure that we are doing our very best for the patients and families for whom we are privileged to care.
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