The Department of Hand Surgery and Peripheral Nerve Surgery is involved in numerous research projects. Research includes surgical outcome reviews, surgical technique developments (animal models), multi-centre international trials and publishing of case reports.
The department receives Australian and international fellows each year and each actively pursues a research project during their term. In addition, Hand surgery registrars from the Australian Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgery training schemes join the department each year and are encouraged to undertake research, as are resident medical officers and medical students.
Anatomical, mechanical and clinical studies completed within the department offer guidance on the best surgical options and outcomes for patients and regularly influence the practices of surgeons and hand therapists at NSLHD, but also at state, national and international levels. As an example, a recent study on the care of spasticity patients after comprehensive one-stage upper limb surgery demonstrated a significant improvement through multi-disciplinary care, which is now delivered in our multi-disciplinary spasticity clinic.
Our research is often run in collaboration with our important partners, including the Children's Hospital Westmead, RNSH Department of Orthopaedics, Tetraplegia unit, multi-disciplinary Spasticity Clinic, and the Department of Physiotherapy; The Kolling Institute's Maxwell Murray Biomechanics Research Laboratory and Sutton Laboratories; The University of Sydney; International hospitals and universities (e.g. ERASMUS Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands; Loma Linda University, California, USA); and Pharmaceutical companies and external groups with a hand surgery interest.
Selected publications in 2019/2020
- Mende K, Suurmeijer JA, Tonkin MA. Surgical techniques for reconstruction of the hypoplastic thumb. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2019; 44(1):15-24. doi: 10.1177/1753193418793579.
- Smith NC, Sivakumar B, Bellity JP, Tremblay DM, Lawson RD. Interosseous membrane reconstruction utilizing flexor digitorum superficialis autograft. Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg. 2019; 23(3):122-127. doi: 10.1097/BTH.0000000000000237.
- Graham DJ, Clitherow HDS, Singh HP, Smith BJ, Clarke EC, Tonkin MA. The effect of extensor tendon adhesions on finger motion. J Hand Surg Am. 2019; 44(10):903.e1-903.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2018.12.011.
- Gschwind CR, Yeomans JL, Smith BJ. Upper limb surgery for severe spasticity after acquired brain injury improves ease of care. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2019; 44(9):898-904. doi: 10.1177/1753193419866595.
- Ledgard JP, Gschwind CR. New developments in reconstructive upper limb surgery for tetraplegia: evidence for their efficacy. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2020;45(1):43‐50. doi:10.1177/1753193419886443
- Vanhees M, Cardillo ND, Hile MS. The effect of knot position in Adelaide flexor tendon repair. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2020;45(3):303‐304. doi:10.1177/1753193419889297
- Mende K, Watson A, Stewart DA. Surgical treatment and outcomes of syndactyly: A systematic review. J Hand Surg Asian Pac Vol. 2020;25(1):1‐12. doi:10.1142/S2424835520300017
- Haines M, Baba M, Stewart DA. Iatrogenic femur fracture following medial femoral condyle flap harvest. J Hand Surg Am. 2020;S0363-5023(19)31532-1. doi:10.1016/j.jhsa.2019.12.001 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Feb 20]