Hand Surgery is defined as the management of afflictions of the hand and wrist, management of upper limb conditions that affect hand function and microsurgical reconstruction of the hand and upper limb. Hand surgery deals with the skin and its contents, all of which are based on the skeleton of the hand and upper limb; the joints which allow positioning and function of the hand; the tendons and their muscles which control joint motion; the nerves which provide the messages for muscle control and activity, supply sensation to the skin and instruct the position and integrity of joint behaviour; and the vessels which provide life for all tissues, bone and soft tissue.
The Department of Hand Surgery and Peripheral Nerve Surgery is involved in numerous research projects within Royal North Shore Hospital and North Shore Private Hospital. This research is run in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, physiotherapists, the Department of Orthopaedics, tetraplegia units, the Maxwell Murray Biomechanics Research Laboratory and the Sutton Laboratories.
Research conducted within the department includes surgical outcome reviews, surgical technique developments (animal models), multi-centre international trials and publishing of case reports. The department receives 6-8 Australian and international fellows each year and each actively pursues a research project during their term. Hand surgery registrars from the Australian Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgery training schemes are required to undertake research and medical students are encouraged to assist. Research findings are published in Hand Surgery journals and presented at national and international meetings.
The number of worthwhile studies that can be conducted is limited only by imagination and by resources and facilities. From these studies comes better understanding and better methods of management, leading to better outcomes of care.
Head of Department and Lincoln Centre Director of Hand Surgery Research - Doctor Richard Lawson
Consultants in Hand Surgery
Research Officer - Ms Belinda Smith
Department Secretary - Ms Sally Patman