View My VisualCV Online:

Bobby Chhabra's VisualCV Blog

Icon_doc_16 Dr. Bobby Chhabra – Team Physician for UVA Athletics

Dr. A. Bobby Chhabra is the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor and Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery; Professor of Plastic Surgery; and Co-Director of The UVA Hand Center. Prior to his appointment as Department Chair, he was also the Vice Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics.

Dr. Chhabra’s dedication and vision for patient care led to the creation of the University of Virginia Hand Center that was supported by a Buchanan Grant for New Clinical Initiatives. The UVA Hand Center combines the services of Orthopaedic and Plastic Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, Radiology, Occupational Therapy and Nursing, in a single facility at the forefront of technology, and is one of the busiest and most successful clinics in the Health System.

Dr. Chhabra graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with undergraduate degree in Biology before completing his medical education at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed his Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Virginia Health System.  He received his fellowship training in hand and upper extremity, microvascular and congenital hand surgery at the Hand Center of San Antonio and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. His areas of expertise include hand, wrist, and elbow trauma and arthritis with a particular interest in athletic injuries and congenital hand surgery. He has a basic science laboratory that is investigating flexor tendon healing using growth factor and stem cell technology and tissue engineering principles.

For the last 11 years, he has also served as a team physician for UVA’s Department of Athletics. His areas of expertise include hand, wrist, and elbow trauma and arthritis, with a particular interest in athletic injuries and congenital hand surgery. He has directed a successful, federally funded, basic science laboratory investigating flexor tendon healing using growth factors, stem-cell technology, and tissue-engineering principles. Dr. Chhabra serves in a variety of committees and positions within the University of Virginia Health System and the School of Medicine. Most recently, he served a two-year term as the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Surgical Services. His skills in collaboration, listening and advocacy have created significant changes in the OR with regard to patient centeredness, workplace environment, resource utilization, efficiency, quality, access, employee satisfaction and accountability.


Dr. Chhabra is a nationally recognized orthopaedic educator and has been a course director for several orthopaedic educational conferences. He has been Program Chair or Course Faculty for 15 national and international meetings and given over 110 invited lectures. He has 75 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters to date. He has received the University of Virginia Master Educator Award, the University of Virginia School of Medicine Award for Excellence in Teaching, and is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Educators. He served as Program Director for the Orthopaedic Residency Program from 2007-2011 and Vice Chair for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery from 2008–2013. Dr. Chhabra is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and a fellow of the American Orthopaedic Association. He is past President of the Virginia Orthopaedic Society, has served as an Executive Council Member for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and has been listed for the past 6 years as one of America’s “Best Doctors.”

Icon_doc_16 Tennis Elbow

As director of the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System Hand Center, Dr. Bobby Chhabra provides diagnosis and treatment for patients experiencing problems with the hand and upper extremities. A common ailment for which individuals seek treatment from Dr. Bobby Chhabra and his colleagues is lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow.

The condition affects the tendons surrounding the elbow and extending into the outer part of the forearm. While racquet sports like tennis provide one cause of lateral epicondylitis, other repetitive activities may generate the condition. These include swimming, gardening, or any other activity that entails repetitive wrist turning or lifting.

Symptoms include pain in the elbow that increases over time, as well as radiating pain when performing motions such as twisting or grasping. Tennis elbow may also cause decreased grip strength.

Common treatments for tennis elbow include rest, ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or supportive braces. If the condition persists, physicians may recommend surgery.

Icon_doc_16 Services Offered by the UVA Hand CenterServices Offered by the UVA Hand Center

A successful orthopedic surgeon with many years of experience in the field, Dr. Bobby Chhabra currently works as the co-director of the renowned UVA Hand Center at the University of Virginia. In this capacity, Dr. Bobby Chhabra oversees all activities at the Hand Center. Throughout the years, the UVA Hand Center has delivered top-quality care for patients with a wide range of hand, wrist, and elbow issues.

For athletes with injuries sustained during sports-related activities, the UVA Hand Center offers procedures such as MRIs, CT scans, nerve studies, and X-rays. The center also helps patients recover from their injuries and surgical procedures, primarily through splinting, casting, occupational therapy, and patient education. Specific conditions treated by the UVA Hand Center include arthritis of the hand, wrist, and elbow, vascular disorders of the upper extremities, congenital hand differences, carpal tunnel syndrome, sports related injuries of the upper extremity and many more.

To learn more about the UVA Hand Center, visit

AAOS Prepares for 2014 Annual Meeting

Dr. Bobby Chhabra presently serves as an orthopaedic surgeon and professor of orthopaedic and plastic surgery at the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System. In August 2013, Dr. Bobby Chhabra was named Chair of UVA’s Department of Orthoapaedics, having previously served as Vice Chair of the department. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Dr. Bobby Chhabra maintains membership in a number of professional organizations, including the American Orthopaedic Association, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is making preparations for its 2014 Annual Meeting, which will be held March 11-15, 2014 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. The meeting will offer opportunities for continuing medical education courses, general sessions, exhibits, and valuable information regarding the latest developments in the field of orthopaedic surgery. AAOS anticipates attendance by more than 14,000 orthopaedic surgeons and other medical professionals worldwide.

Established in 1933, AAOS is dedicated to promoting musculoskeletal health, serving as a valuable resource for members, and advocating the interests of patients. The organization provides a myriad of services to its members, including the Annual Meeting, electronic media materials, CME courses, and publications relating to medicine and science.

Icon_doc_16 The Role of a Team Physician By Bobby Chhabra

Bobby Chhabra, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon, educator, and researcher at the University of Virginia (UVA), where he is the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and serves as Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Bobby Chhabra also serves as a team physician for UVA's various athletics programs. 

A successful team physician needs to be committed to being supportive to the team and must maintain open communication with players, coaches, and administrators. A good team physician has a thorough knowledge of the history of the team and its players, including their medical, athletic, personal histories. Awareness of special medical problems, current injuries, and previous significant injuries or illnesses is key in treating team members as well. Team physicians must be willing to talk to people who have been with the team for a long time or prior trainers, physicians, and coaches in order to stay abreast of pressing issues.

Awareness of where the team will be traveling and local public health issues is another important aspect of the team physician's job, as is maintaining a medical kit with appropriate medications and equipment. Finally, team physicians need to be thoroughly familiar with drug testing protocols and all banned substances, including over-the-counter medicines that may lead to positive drug test results.

Icon_doc_16 The University of Virginia Hand Center by Bobby Chhabra

Renowned orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Bobby Chhabra holds several prestigious academic and clinical positions with the University of Virginia (UVA) and UVA Health System (UVHS). He is the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and a member of the medical staff at the UVA Hand Center, where he specializes in hand and upper extremity disorders.

Patients at the 6,000-square-foot UVA Hand Center can receive seamless treatment and care for a number of conditions. Many needed tests and procedures are conducted in the same locations where patients see their doctors, thus saving them the trouble of having to travel from office to office. The Hand Center is home to specialists in orthopaedics and plastic surgery who are able to treat a range of hand and arm injuries and diseases in both children and adults. In addition, the Hand Center has X-ray, MRI, and CT scan machines and also conducts nerve studies. It offers patients simple procedures such as splinting and casting, as well as occupational therapy and education, while also helping them schedule major surgeries at the UVA Outpatient Surgery Center or the UVA Medical Center.

In 2012 alone, the Hand Center had more than 16,000 patient visits and its doctors performed over 2,000 surgeries.

Dr. Bobby Chhabra - Flexor Tendon Injuries

Based at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Dr. Bobby Chhabra serves as the Lillian T. Pratt distinguished professor and department chair, the division head for hand and upper extremity surgery, and one of the school's team physician for its athletic programs. Through his position at the medical center, Dr. Bobby Chhabra has performed research funded by the National Institute of Health to improve the healing of flexor tendon lacerations. He has overseen a laboratory dedicated to studying growth factors and tissue engineering. 

Located in the hand, flexor tendons are important tissues that control the fingers and thumb. The muscles that move the appendages are in the forearm, but these tendons provide greater dexterity. Extensor tendons in the top of the hand straighten the fingers, and the palm-based flexor tendons allow for flexible bending. 

Found near the skin's surface, flexor tendons are susceptible to injury. A deep cut in the palm, wrist, or forearm can detrimentally affect movement and prevent the bending of a finger or joint. In cases of flexor tendon injuries, visiting a doctor is necessary. A complete tear often requires surgery. Medical professionals recommend completing the procedure within 10 days because the likelihood of complete recovery is greater immediately after the injury. Patients generally need up to two months to regain full use of their hands.

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand Improves Global Health

An orthopedic surgeon and medical school professor at the University of Virginia, Dr. Bobby Chhabra holds a number of positions at the medical school. He served as associate chief medical officer of surgical services at the University of Virginia Health System from 2011-2013. In 2009, Dr. Bobby Chhabra began a three-year term as a council member for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He is also the designated co-program director for the society's 2014 annual meeting.

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) started in 1946 and is the oldest organization dedicated to continuing education and research for the advancement of hand surgery. Members include hand surgeons and other professionals who specialize in conditions of the hand and other upper extremities.

Recently, ASSH member Dr. Joseph E. Sheppard earned recognition for his commitment to global health. Through the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand and Health Volunteers Overseas, ASSH members have the opportunity to travel to remote areas of the world to volunteer their time and services. Dr. Joseph E. Sheppard worked continuously with surgeons in Honduras to train them on complex hand reconstruction, surgical techniques, and patient evaluation skills.

The Annual Meetings of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand

A respected medical educator and orthopedic surgeon, Bobby Chhabra, MD, chairs the department of orthopedic surgery at the School of Medicine of the University of Virginia (UVA) and holds several other academic and administrative appointments at UVA in addition to serving as team physician for the university’s athletic teams. Recently, Dr. Bobby Chhabra was selected to co-direct the programming of the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand to be held in September in Boston, Massachusetts.

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) was established in 1946 for the advancement of the practice and science of hand surgery. It accomplishes this objective through research, education, and outreach. Of these, education is the society’s most important mission, and it regularly hosts or sponsors meetings and other opportunities for professional education. In addition, it provides some on-line training.

The highlight of the ASSH’s year is its annual meeting. The 2013 meeting, held in October in San Francisco, had as its theme “Education Through Technology.” The theme of the 2014 meeting, scheduled for September 18 to 20 in Boston, Massachusetts, is “Hands Helping Hands.” The annual meeting gives members the opportunity to meet and network with each other, but its main focus is education, and numerous seminars and committee meetings are planned to acquaint members with the most recent advances in the field.

The Facts about Flexor Tendon Injuries

An orthopaedic hand-and-wrist surgeon, Bobby Chhabra, MD, currently serves as the division head of hand and upper-extremity surgery at the University of Virginia, as well as the hand and upper-extremity consultant for the university’s athletic department. During his more than 10 years of performing hand surgery, Dr. Bobby Chhabra has treated a wide range of problems affecting the upper extremities, including flexor tendon injuries.

Flexor tendons are long connective tissues that extend from the forearm to the fingers on the palm side of the hand. These tendons, which attach the bones and muscles, are responsible for helping the fingers bend. When a flexor tendon is cut or injured, the patient may lost partial or full use of the affected fingers. Although cuts are a common cause of flexor tendon injury, damage to these tissues, in the form of stretches and tears, also frequently occurs during rock climbing and other sporting activities that require considerable hand strength.

Treatment of flexor tendon injuries depends upon the extent of the damage. In most cases, however, surgery is indicated because cut or torn tendons cannot self-heal. Surgical repair, which is usually done on an outpatient basis, involves reattaching the torn ends of the flexor tendon so that optimal healing can occur. Other surrounding tissues, including damaged blood vessels and nerves, may also require repair. The postsurgical healing process can take two months or longer, and the patient must wear a stabilizing splint and undergo physical therapy.

UVA Hand Center Offers Complete Specialty Care for Upper Extremities

UVA Hand Center

Dr. Bobby Chhabra currently serves as chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Virginia (UVA) and the chief of Orthopaedic Hand Surgery for the UVA Health System. With the aid of a Buchanan Grant for New Clinical Initiatives, Dr. Bobby Chhabra also helped found the UVA Hand Center, where he has served as codirector since 2006.

The UVA Hand Center was designed to provide comprehensive treatment for injuries and conditions of the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow. Along with six accredited hand surgeons, the center’s staff includes four occupational therapists, two orthopaedic physician assistants, three casting technicians, a nurse manager, and three nurses.

Services provided at the Hand Center include occupational therapy, casting, nursing, lab tests, evaluation and scheduling forsurgeries, and radiology procedures such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT Scans. Any surgeries scheduled with one of the Hand Center’s four orthopaedic hand and upper-extremity surgeons or its two plastic hand surgeons are performed at either the UVA Outpatient Surgery Center or the UVA Medical Center. The Hand Center is also one of the only facilities in the state where treatment for upper-extremity trauma and microsurgery are provided around the clock, every day of the week.

As one of only a few facilities in its region to evaluate and fit patients for i-limb digits prosthetics, the Hand Center is equipped to help individuals who have lost one to five fingers regain hand functionality. All i-limb digits prostheses are specifically designed to fit the individual and can be silicon-coated to match the amputee’s skin tone. Each prosthetic finger is fully articulated, powered by its own motor, and controlled through the individual’s neural impulses.

Among the chronic conditions of the hands and upper extremities treated at the clinic are carpal tunnel and nerve compression syndromes, arthritis, congenital hand abnormalities, tumors, and vascular disorders. Therapy is also available for upper-extremity trauma and fractures, tendon and nerve damage, sports and work-related injuries, and impairment due to overuse.