Explore the Hand Surgery Clinical Research Unit


The goal of the Mass General Hand Surgery Clinical Research Unit is to contribute to advancements in knowledge and innovation that will maximize the hand and arm health of our own patients and patients worldwide. We address complex and sometimes vexing traumatic injuries and their consequences, surgical techniques and devices, tricky diagnoses and areas of debate, and the emotional aspects of recovery. Our hand transplant unit hopes to be free of potentially toxic anti-rejection drugs in the near future. We work with collaborators from every part of the globe and we are particularly proud of the Science of Variation Group, an international online collaborative that is working to understand and optimize reliability in orthopaedic surgery. We have further ongoing collaborations with the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, Osaka University and British Hospital in Montevideo.

Research Projects

A sample of the subjects we address:


  • Mallet finger
  • Post-surgical finger stiffness
  • Night time splinting for trigger finger
  • Dislocations
  • Treatment satisfaction


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome diagnoses
  • Randomized control trial for pain medical after carpal tunnel release
  • Electrodiagnostic testing for carpal tunnel
  • Randomized control trial for computer-guided corrective Osteotomy for distal radius malunion
  • Long term follow-ups for distal radius fractures
  • Fragmentation of the lunate bone in Kienbock’s disease
  • Classification of distal radius fractures
  • Guidelines for screw length and plate size for distal radius volar locking plates
  • Science of variation for distal radius fractures and partial union of scaphoid
  • Bone density changes in wrist pathology


  • Long term follow-up of ulnar nerve release for cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Corrective osteotomy of the distal humerus for distal humerus malunion or nonunion with angulation
  • Floating elbow
  • Radial head prosthesis
  • Long term results after lateral collateral ligament reconstruction
  • Long term follow-up for olecranon fractures
  • Heterotropic ossification of the elbow
  • Ulnar nerve and anconaeus epitrochlearis
  • Operative versus non-operative treatment of Mason type 2 radial head fractures

Upper Extremity

  • Scapular fractures
  • Patient expectations
  • Preference of shared decision making
  • Anticoagulation use for minor hand surgeries
  • Risk factors for humerus nonunion
  • IV extravasation compartment syndrome
  • Incidental hook hamate fractures
  • Pathology of suspected benign fractures


  • Attitudes towards pain in medical advertisements
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for idiopathic arm pain
  • Factors associated with counterintuitive aspects of illness
  • Patient perceptions of occupational therapy recommendations correlates with depression
  • Phone cognitive
  • Psychosocial impacts of upper extremity trauma

Research Positions

Short-term volunteer positions are available for medical students who are interested in dedicating time to orthopaedic hand and upper extremity research. Short-term researchers take on projects under the guidance of our PhD candidates and become well-versed in clinical research methodology and biostatistics. Long-Term positions are also available for those planning on pursuing a PhD or the equivalent at their respective institutions. Such positions extend between two and three years and are well-suited for those interested in independently managing multiple research projects while also exercising leadership in the field. Our researchers have published and presented their work in top journals and at national and international conferences including the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery.

To apply, please submit CV and 3 reference letters to Rachel Cross.

Selected Publications

A sample of our research is listed below. See our PDF for a complete listing.

  • Jupiter JB, Fernandez DL, Toh CL, Fellman T, Ring D. Operative treatment of volar intra-articular fractures of the distal end of the radius. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1996;78(12):1817-28.
  • Jupiter JB, Ring D, Weitzel PP. Surgical treatment of redisplaced fractures of the distal radius in patients older than 60 years. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2002;27(4):714-23.
  • Jupiter JB, Ring D. Operative treatment of post-traumatic proximal radioulnar synostosis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1998;80(2):248-57.
  • Mudgal CS, Ring D. Stacked plating for metadiaphyseal fractures of the distal radius: a technique report. J Orthop Trauma. 2007;21(1):63-6.
  • Mudgal CS. Management of tophaceous gout of the distal interphalangeal joint. J Hand Surg Br. 2006 Feb;31(1):101-3.
  • Mudgal CS. Olecranon fractures in osteogenesis imperfecta. A case report. Acta Orthop Belg. 1992;58(4):453-6.
  • Ring D, Adey L, Zurakowski D, Jupiter JB. Elbow capsulectomy for posttraumatic elbow stiffness. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2006;31(8):1264-71.
  • Ring D, Chin K, Taghinia AH, Jupiter JB. Nonunion after functional brace treatment of diaphyseal humerus fractures. J Trauma. 2007;62(5):1157-8.
  • Ring D, Guss D, Malhotra L, Jupiter JB. Idiopathic arm pain. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004;86-A(7):1387-91.
  • Ring D, Hannouche D, Jupiter JB. Surgical treatment of persistent dislocation or subluxation of the ulnohumeral joint after fracture-dislocation of the elbow. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2004;29(3):470-80.
  • Ring D, Holovacs T. Brachial plexus palsy after intramedullary fixation of a clavicular fracture. A report of three cases. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005;87(8):1834-7.
  • Ring D, Hotchkiss RN, Guss D, Jupiter JB. Hinged elbow external fixation for severe elbow contracture. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005;87(6):1293-6.

Hand Fellows:

  • Janelle Greene, MD
  • Irene Pien, MD
  • Suresh Kevin Nayar, MD

Research Coordinator:

PhD Candidates:

  • Charlotte Laane, MD
  • Floris Raasveld, MD
  • Ingmar Legerstee, MD
  • Kevin Kooi, MD