Meet Hand to Shoulder Surgeon Dr. Michael DiBenedetto

Michael DiBenedetto, M.D.
ECHN Medical Group

Our hands and arms are complex parts of the body, made up of over 27 individual bones and are connected by joints and ligaments. There are over 30 muscles in the hand, but our hand movements are started by the muscles in our forearms. A lot of things can be done with our hands, from gripping objects tightly and lifting something heavy to being able to guide a fine thread through the eye of a tiny needle. Our hands, elbows, and shoulders go through a lot, day in and day out. They come in contact with harmful objects that could result in injuries and problems due to wear and tear. If you have a hand, wrist, elbow, or shoulder injury, daily tasks can be unbearable. This is where a hand to shoulder surgeon comes into play! Luckily, at ECHN we are happy to welcome hand to shoulder surgeon, Dr. Michael DiBenedetto to our team of world-class surgeons.

We sat down with Dr. DiBenedetto to learn more about him, and how he can help you if you have any problems with your hand, wrist, forearm, elbow or shoulder.

What is your position at ECHN?
I am a hand to shoulder surgeon, which is sometimes called an upper extremity surgeon.

Where are you located?
My office is located at ECHN’s South Windsor Campus, 2800 Tamarack Avenue, Suite 100 in South Windsor and I perform surgery at Manchester Memorial Hospital.

Please provide your educational background:
I received my undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College. I graduated from medical school at New York University. My residency training in orthopedics was located just 60 miles away from ECHN, at the University of Massachusetts. After my training was complete, I spent an additional year specializing in hand and arm surgery at Beth Israel-Lahey on Boston’s north shore.

Can you explain what a hand to shoulder surgeon does?
I take care of nearly every problem from the shoulder to fingertip. I see patients with problems of the bones, tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles, and nerves.  Even though I am a surgeon, I take care of many problems which will often not need surgery, like tennis elbow and rotator cuff tendonitis. If there is a problem that I can’t help with, I will find you the proper specialist.

What are your interests in regards to your specialty?
My main interests are minimally invasive surgery and elbow surgery. I particularly enjoy arthroscopic surgery, which uses very small incisions to look at the inside of joints using a camera and instruments which are sometimes thinner than a pencil. Whether you have stiffness, trauma, tendonitis, ligament injury or need an elbow replacement, I can help you feel better.

Why would someone need to come see you?
Problems with the hand and arm can take many forms. The most common are pain, numbness, aching, swelling, and weakness. Injuries like broken bones, ligament tears, rotator cuff tears, or biceps tears are common reasons people come to see me. Other reasons include stiffness in a joint, a mass, or a cyst in the hand or arm.

What are common procedures that you have done in the past?
My most common procedures in the hand are carpal tunnel release, trigger finger release, and cyst excisions. In the wrist, I regularly perform fixation of fractures, arthroscopy, and ligament repairs. In the elbow, I often operate on torn biceps tendons, elbow contractures (stiffness), and elbow dislocations. In the shoulder I perform surgery for rotator cuff tears, biceps tendonitis, stiff shoulders, and rotator cuff tendonitis.

How are you different from an Orthopedic Surgeon?
I am a fully trained Orthopedic Surgeon capable of treating orthopedic issues like hip, knee or ankle pain, but have specialized training in hand and arm.

What do you like to do in your free time?
My days of rugby, football, and lacrosse are behind me and these days I just stick to golf. I love to hike with my wife and golden retriever, Hobbes.  When I’m not being active, I develop iPhone applications which use the latest technology like augmented reality to help surgeons and patients tackle their disease and navigate their postoperative course.  My newest passion is 3D printing CT scans and MRIs of the hand, wrist, and elbow.

What are you looking forward to at ECHN?
I am looking forward to serving a wonderful community and working with the intelligent, hardworking, and passionate providers and staff at ECHN!