Upper Extremity Injury Specialist

James J. Reid, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

James J. Reid, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon located in Culver City, Los Angeles, CA

Injured upper extremities (hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders) can cause significant disability and result in pain. If you suffer an upper extremity injury, orthopedic surgeon James J. Reid, MD, in Los Angeles, California, can help. Dr. Reid is an expert in diagnosing and treating all forms of upper extremity injuries, including tennis and golfer’s elbow, fractures, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Call Dr. Reid’s Culver City office today or book an appointment online to find out how you can benefit from his expertise in upper extremity injuries.

Upper Extremity Injury Q&A

What is an upper extremity injury?

Your upper extremities are your hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Common injuries that affect these areas include:


Fractures (broken bones) can affect any bone in your upper extremities, from small hand bones to large arm bones. However, fractures most often show up in the fingers, wrists, and forearms.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a passageway in your wrist made of bones. The median nerve travels along your arm and through this tunnel to the thumb side of your hand. Thickened ligaments in the carpal tunnel sometimes press on the nerve, causing chronic (ongoing) pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, and a weakened ability to grip.

Tennis and golfer’s elbow

Tennis elbow causes pain in the tendon on the outside of your joint, while golfer’s elbow affects the tendon on the inside of the joint. They’re both brought on by repetitive stress or overuse.


Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the largest upper extremity joints — shoulders, wrists, and elbows. Bursitis is inflammation of these bursa, a common cause of pain and stiffness in the joints.

How is an upper extremity injury treated?

Dr. Reid begins your treatment using nonsurgical methods. These are usually a combination of physical therapy to keep the joints mobile and strengthen the soft tissues, anti-inflammatory medicine, and ice and heat treatments.

Some upper extremity injuries require immobilization. For instance, a fracture will need a cast, while a rotator cuff tear needs to be supported with a sling.

If your pain doesn’t improve using these treatments, Dr. Reid can inject the affected upper extremity with steroids. These powerful anti-inflammatory drugs relieve pain and inflammation for several months, sometimes longer. Dr. Reid may also suggest a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection when appropriate. 

Would I need surgery for an upper extremity injury?

If conservative treatments don’t work, you might need surgery. This is also true if your injury is too severe to heal without surgical repair. Some of the surgeries Dr. Reid performs on upper extremity injuries include:

Wrist and elbow arthroscopy

Wrist and elbow arthroscopy use small incisions in the joint for the arthroscope, which is a tiny camera that sends images back to a monitor. Dr. Reid views the live images throughout the procedure to ensure he can repair all visible damaged tissue, tendons, and bones damage. This procedure allows Dr. Reid to do the repair with minimal incisions.

Carpal tunnel release

A carpal tunnel release procedure requires Dr. Reid to cut the thickened ligament that’s pressing on your median nerve.

Tendon surgery

Overuse injuries like tennis and golfer’s elbow and other forms of tendinitis can require surgery to repair or reconstruct the tendon.

Call James J. Reid, MD, today or book an appointment online for prompt treatment of your painful upper extremity injury.