Research and Fellowships



A Commitment to Research

The Hand Center has been actively involved in research for over thirty years, with numerous presentations worldwide and publications in professional journals, authored by our surgeons and hand therapists. Highlights include the following:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
  • Checkrein Resection for Flexion Contracture of the Proximal Interphalangeal (PIP) Joint
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Degenerative Arthritis of the Thumb Carpometacarpal (CMC) Joint
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture
  • Nerve Transfers
  • Saddle Deformity (Post-Traumatic Interosseous-Lumbrical Adhesions)
  • Supernumerary Muscle Belly Syndrome
  • Volar Plate Arthroplasty

Wrist Surgery

The Hand Center is known worldwide for its pioneering work related to the development of surgical procedures for the wrist secondary to trauma or arthritis. Publications include the following topics:

  • Carpal Boss
  • Dorsal Wrist Syndrome
  • Limited Wrist Arthrodesis
  • Matched Ulna Arthroplasty
  • Modified Arthroplasty of the Distal Radioulnar Joint
  • Rheumatoid Wrist – Therapeutic and Surgical Management
  • TILT (Triquetral Impingement Ligament Tear)

Stress Loading for the Treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

(Also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or RSD)

The Stress Loading Program, developed and researched by H. Kirk Watson, MD and Lois Carlson, OTR/L, CHT, targets resolution of this abnormal neurovascular response to trauma. The Dystrophile (exerciser) was developed to help quantify the load and improve compliance with therapy to treat this problem.



Clinical Education

The professional staff of The Hand Center have been actively involved in continuing education for both surgeons and therapists throughout the years, including:

  • The Hand Center’s Hand Fellowship program – University of Connecticut Medical Center
  • Occupational Therapy Fieldwork – Quinnipiac College, University of Hartford, Sacred Heart University and New England Institute of Technology
  • Teaching - University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, Quinnipiac College and Baypath College
  • Professional Presentations/Workshops - nationally and internationally

University of Connecticut Combined Hand Surgery Fellowship

This fellowship is structured to provide advanced training in reconstructive hand surgery. The principal hand faculty includes surgeons with orthopaedic backgrounds as well as surgeons with plastic surgery backgrounds. There is extensive experience in post-traumatic, rheumatoid, and congenital reconstructive procedures. Surgery is performed daily with an aggregate of 2,000 cases per year. Exposure to the management of acute hand trauma, including replantation, is provided through emergency coverage of Hartford Hospital and the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Fellows supervise the weekly Hartford Hospital Hand Clinic and are responsible for all surgical procedures scheduled in this setting. There are weekly hand conferences, a monthly journal club and a monthly surgical simulation lab. Ample time is provided for research activities. This fellowship participates in the NRMP combined musculoskeletal match program and is ACGME accredited.

For more information and application details visit the program website.

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