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Hand & Upper Extremity

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Hand & Upper Extremity

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Specialists in Hand and Upper Extremity Care

The AOC Hand and Upper Extremity Center was established in 2008 to ensure coordinated and exceptional care for both acute injuries and chronic conditions. The center provides a complete unified team approach to upper extremity ailments, including board-certified and fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity surgeons.

Hand and upper extremity injuries and ailments can be complicated and that means they require immediate and continuing treatment - our help doesn’t stop after your surgery. The clinicians at the AOC Hand and Upper Extremity Center work closely with certified therapists to provide balanced care that maximizes motion while limiting risk to injured structures.

Where Treatment Begins

When you first walk through our doors, whether at AOC Urgent Care or straight into one of our speciality hand and upper extremity clinics - which have daily availability - our expert team will quickly assess your needs and craft a treatment plan with you. Fingers, hands, wrists, or elbows- whatever ails you, our doctors are ready to put you on the path to healing.

If you’ve experienced an acute or sudden injury, our clinicians will address your immediate needs and put into place a plan to reduce your pain. This may include scheduling surgery. Operative management is often performed within a day or two to prevent complications sometimes associated with delayed treatment.

For more chronic concerns, you will receive evaluation and treatment from experts in the specific field of your condition, and, if surgery is needed, AOC’s fellowship-trained and subspecialized surgeons are here to provide you with the help you need. Our clinicians are leading the way in cutting edge research and technologies in order to provide you with the most up-to-date and minimally invasive procedures to meet your specific needs.

Certified Therapists Provide Continuing Treatment

Expert surgical care is not the only deciding factor in your outcome. Skilled and specialized therapy after surgery is essential to ensuring optimal recovery. AOC employs 8% of all the certified hand therapists in the state of Georgia, each of whom is ready to guide your recovery, monitor your progress, and keep our clinicians up to date with any concerns or needs that arise. This dedication to your needs extends to providing other specialized therapies, such as spine therapy, aquatic therapy, and physical therapy.

Additionally we can assist in the transition from therapy to your return to sports through the state-of-the-art Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Center (SPARC), where you’ll have access to world-class training to help you heal and make sure your mechanics and techniques are both correct and safe. The goal of SPARC and its specialized team is to get you back to your pre-injury level of activity as fast as possible while preventing injuries in the future.

Specializing In a Wide Variety of Conditions

Our clinicians, therapists, and surgeons are experts in complete, cohesive, and timely care for most conditions, but we offer particular expertise in:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & Cubital Tunnel Syndrome - treated through minimally invasive endoscopic releases
  • Trigger Fingers, DeQuervain’s Synovitis, Tendonitis
  • Ganglion cysts - cysts, masses, and bumps of the upper extremity
  • Elbow, forearm, wrist, hand and finger fractures - distal radius fractures, scaphoid, carpal, metacarpal, phalanx fractures / breaks / dislocations
  • Ligament tears and dislocations - gamekeepers tears, scapholunate ligament tears
  • Tendon, nerve, and vessel injuries/lacerations - flexor tendon / extensor tendon lacerations and repairs, mallet & jersey fingers
  • Hand and thumb arthritis - treated with minimally invasive CMC arthroplasties
  • Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) tears - treated through arthroscopic repairs and debridement
  • Dupuytren’s Contractures - treated with Xiaflex injections for non-surgical management
  • Hand & upper extremity sports injuries
  • Workers comp injuries

An Expert Team

Hand surgery is a very specific field of orthopedics, requiring specialized training and expert skills. Our talented hand and wrist surgeons, Dr. Michael Shuler and Dr. David Katz, are Board-Certified in Orthopedic Surgery and also Board-Certified Subspecialty Certificate of Surgery of the Hand.  

Why should you choose a Board-Certified surgeon? Click here to find out more.

Dr. Shuler, who founded The Hand and Upper Extremity Team in 2008, along with his certified physician assistant, Karl Kline, PA-C, are based in Athens.  He is active in medical research and device development and specializes in minimally invasive Carpal and Cubital Tunnel endoscopic surgery.  

Dr. Katz, who joined AOC in 2009, along with his certified physician assistant, Paul Schofield, PA-C, share time between Athens and Loganville.  He specializes in an alternative to tourniquet hand surgery, known as "WALANT," which stands for: wide awake local anesthesia no tourniquet.