Hand and Microsurgery Faculty Research Summaries


Martin Boyer, MD, Program Director
Dr. Boyer has research interests in microvascular care and anatomic research, and a background of extensive investigations using animal models of flexor tendon and physeal surgery.

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David M. Brogan, MD, MSc
Dr. Brogan is interested in translational and basic science research with regards to nerve injury and recovery. The primary focus of his lab is to develop methods of imaging nerves in surgery to allow better methods to predict potential for nerve recovery. A secondary aim for his group is working with collaborators in the genetics department to develop a SARM-1 dominant negative rat model to explore the effect of SARM-1 knockout in preventing Wallerian degeneration. Dr. Brogan also has a clinical interest in the care of the mangled limb, including soft tissue coverage and distal radius fractures. 

Current projects or projects in development: 

  • Development of a novel fluorophore probe to detect MMP-9 in a rat sciatic nerve injury model.
  • Assessment of nerve recovery after transection and repair of the sciatic nerve in a SARM-1 Knockout rat
  • Measure of inflammatory markers after sciatic nerve transection in wild type and SARM-1 knockout rats 
  • Outcomes of flaps performed by orthopedic microsurgeons
  • Correlation of number of debridements with ultimate infection in mangled limbs
  • Follow-up clinical paper on long term outcomes after volar plating of distal radius fractures (follow-up to previous work by Drs. Gelberman, Goldfarb and Calfee)
  • Characterization of distal radius fracture patterns in high energy trauma
  • Costs of cubital tunnel syndrome
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Ryan Calfee, MD, MSc
Dr. Calfee's primary research interests are in studying patient reported outcomes and the impact of mental and social health on orthopedic surgery. He has been working on many projects related to the clinical use of PROMIS.

Current projects or projects in development: 

  • Establishing MCID levels for PROMIS function domains for various clinical conditions
  • Determining the impact of prior diagnoses/medications for depression and anxiety on orthopedic patients
  • Influences of provider and patient gender on PROMIS health scores
  • Impact of chronic opioid use on patient-reported pain and function
  • Perioperative mental health and sleep hygiene associations with surgical outcomes
  • Use of the CTS-6 to predict outcomes from CTR
  • Impact of social deprivation on orthopedic outcomes
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Christopher Dy, MD
Dr. Dy's primary research interests are in studying barriers to care for patients with brachial plexus injuries, with the overarching hypothesis that there are psychosocial and emotional barriers to recovery that we can address outside of the OR. His secondary research focuses on identifying and addressing racial and socioeconomic disparities in delivery of orthopedic care. In both areas, he combined traditional clinical research methods with health services/administrative data and qualitative research approaches.

Current projects or projects in development: 

  • Development of a care navigation and enhanced patient education program to improve delivery of care for BPI patients
  • Development of a self-management protocol for BPI patients (and subsequent impact on patient satisfaction)
  • Quantifying life purpose and self-efficacy in BPI patients using validated instruments (and examining the relationship between these metrics and functional outcomes after BPI reconstruction)
  • Examination of the patient experience before and after hand surgery  ongoing projects include cubital tunnel surgery and thumb CMC arthritis
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Charles Goldfarb, MD
Current projects or projects in development: 

  • Elbow OCD (series of studies). These are all in final stages but can be included for information.
  • Orthopedic Center Database Studies (24,000+ cases in excellent database with 12+ years of data) 
  • CoULD  our congenital, multicenter research registry  
  • A variety of ongoing, local, congenital research projects
  • A variety of ongoing, local, upper extremity sports research projects
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Lindley Wall, MD
Dr. Wall is primarily interested in studying congenital upper limb anomalies and upper extremity spasticity, specifically psychosocial effects on perception of disease and also outcomes.

Current projects or projects in development: 

  • Evaluating psychosocial and functional condition of adults with congenital below elbow amputations.
  • Evaluating psychosocial and functional condition of adults with cerebral palsy affecting the upper limb.
  • Determine effects of a congenital limb anomaly on parents and patients through psychosocial measures and determine specific concerns/stresses at differing life time points.
  • Multiple specific studies through the CoULD registry (Congenital Upper Limb Database).
  • Determine the factors influencing a patient’s decision to choose WALANT and then subsequently developing a decision aid to assist in this decision making process.
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