Bobby Chhabra

A Skilled Orthopaedic Surgeon and Educator

About Bobby Chhabra

Physician Bobby Chhabra, MD, serves the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System as a professor of orthopaedic surgery and plastic surgery. Furthermore, he serves as the Charles J. Frankel Endowed Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at UVA and as vice chair of its department of orthopaedics. Dr. Bobby Chhabra is also a team physician for UVA athletes and helps care for UVA student athletes on several teams including football, basketball, lacrosse, baseball and tennis.

In recognition of his professional achievements, Dr. Bobby Chhabra was recently listed as among America's best physicians in hand surgery and orthopaedic surgery. Complementing his awards in recognition of his expertise as a physician, he has earned several teaching honors that include the Charles W. Miller Chief Resident Teaching Award, the University of Virginia School of Medicine Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the University of Virginia Master Educator Award.

Actively engaged in his profession, Dr. Chhabra is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Association. He has served as treasurer and secretary and president of the Virginia Orthopaedic Society. In addition, he is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.                            

Treatment for Arthritis of the Wrist

Dr. Bobby Chhabra, chair of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Virginia Health System, has presented extensively on the care of hand and wrist arthritis. A writer of several peer-reviewed articles on these topics, Dr. Bobby Chhabra also stands out as author and co-editor of a 2007 publication on arthroplasty in elbow, wrist, and hand arthritis.

A swollen, aching, or stiff wrist may be a sign of osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Physicians typically begin treatment using a nonoperative approach that may involve a custom splint, which keeps the wrist extended during sleep while preserving circulation and motion of the fingers. Patients who find activity painful may need to avoid actions such as lifting heavy objects or swinging a golf club, which place stress on the wrist.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, work to reduce the swelling that patients with arthritis experience. For some patients, oral or injected steroids become necessary to treat acute periods of pain. Patients that do not respond to these interventions may require surgery to reduce pain levels and preserve function.

In these cases, a surgeon often removes the arthritic portion of the joint and either fuses the surrounding bones or replaces the joint, depending on patient needs. Fusion typically preserves the structure of the joint but limits motion. Contemporary implants, by contrast, strive to mimic the form and thus the function of the natural wrist joint and thus support fuller function.

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