Clinical Focus

  • Orthopaedic Surgery

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Residency:University of Minnesota - Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery (2017) MN
  • Medical Education:University of Washington School of Medicine (2012) WA


All Publications

  • Trapezial topography in thumb carpometacarpal arthritis. Journal of wrist surgery Van Nortwick, S., Berger, A., Cheng, R., Lee, J., Ladd, A. L. 2013; 2 (3): 263-270


    Objective Contradictory reported arthritic patterns of the metacarpal surface of the trapezium include preferential volar wear, radial wear, and dorsal-ulnar sparing. We investigated whether a predominant wear pattern exists in surgical trapeziectomy for advanced thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) arthritis. Methods We examined 36 intact trapezia from 34 thumb CMC arthroplasty patients over an 18-month period. The first metacarpal articular surface revealed three consistent morphology patterns: (1) saddle, (2) dish, and (3) cirque. The saddle represented cartilage loss with preservation of the normal trapezial morphology. The dish shape represented concave curvature, with loss of the normal saddle configuration. The cirque shape represented preferential volar concave wear, disrupting the convex volardorsal arc. Two surgeons classified the randomized specimens twice, blinded to patient identity and each other's categorization. Radiographic Eaton staging was correlated retrospectively for 35 of 36 of the trapezial specimens. Eight specimens were further quantified with micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). Results Thirty-six trapezia were classified as follows: 17 (47%) saddle, 12 (33%) dish, and 7 (19%) cirque. Intra-rater reliability was 0.97 and 0.95; inter-rater reliability in the second round was 0.95. The 36 trapezia represented 27 female (75%) and 9 male (25%) patients; 18 (50%) represented the dominant hand. Age at surgery averaged 64 (33-76). Complete cartilage loss of the entire metacarpal surface was seen in 15 (42%) of all specimens. Osteophyte presence was typically minimal in the saddle group; the dish group had characteristic extensive rimming osteophytes in a 91% female population (11/12), and the cirque group had volar osteophytes. Radiographic severity ranged from Eaton stage II to IV; less severe radiographic staging (Eaton II) predominated in the saddle configuration; advanced Eaton III-IV disease predominated in both cirque and dish shapes. Micro-CT verified the three discrete shapes with volardorsal and radioulnar orientation measurements. Conclusion The metacarpal surface of the trapezium demonstrates three distinct patterns of wear in arthritic surgical specimens. Sex, dominance, age distribution, and Eaton stage varied across the different shapes. Level of Evidence Level 3 Study Type Observational.

    View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0033-1350088

    View details for PubMedID 24436826

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3764251

  • Thumb carpometacarpal ligaments inside and out: a comparative study of arthroscopic and gross anatomy from the robert a. Chase hand and upper limb center at stanford university. Journal of wrist surgery Zhang, A. Y., Van Nortwick, S., Hagert, E., Ladd, A. L. 2013; 2 (1): 55-62


    Purpose We propose to identify and correlate arthroscopic internal ligaments with external ligaments, providing an accurate roadmap for arthroscopic ligament and joint anatomy. Ligamentous laxity is considered an important risk factor in developing the common basilar arthritis of the thumb. Controversy exists as to the precise ligamentous anatomy of the thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) joint (CMC-I); description of the internal arthroscopic anatomy is limited. Methods We performed CMC-I joint arthroscopy using the 1-Ulnar (1U) and thenar portals in five cadavers, seeking to identify the following seven ligaments arthroscopically: the superficial anterior oblique ligament (sAOL), deep anterior oblique ligament (dAOL), ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), dorsal trapeziometacarpal ligament (DTM-1), posterior oblique ligament (POL), dorsal central ligament (DCL), and dorsal radial ligament (DRL). After grading articular changes of the trapezium, we passed Kirschner wires (K-wires) (0.028) outside-in to mark the arthroscopic insertion of each ligament on the trapezium. Gross dissection was performed to confirm the wire placement; the anatomic identity and position of joint stabilizing ligaments, and the location of frequently used portals. Results The volar ligaments-the sAOL, dAOL, and UCL-were highly variable in their arthroscopic appearance and precise location. The sAOL is a thin veil of membranous tissue that variably drapes across the anterior joint capsule. The reported dAOL and UCL, in our study, correlated to a thickened portion of this veil around the volar beak and was not consistently identified with gross dissection. In contrast, the arthroscopic appearance and location of the dorsal ligaments-DTM-I, POL, DCL, and DRL-were consistent in all specimens. Conclusion Our study further defines and correlates the arthroscopic and external ligamentous anatomy of the CMC-I joint.

    View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0033-1333683

    View details for PubMedID 24436790

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3656572

  • Titanium integration with bone, welding, and screw head destruction complicating hardware removal of the distal radius: report of 2 cases. journal of hand surgery Van Nortwick, S. S., Yao, J., Ladd, A. L. 2012; 37 (7): 1388-1392


    Increasingly, surgeons treat distal radius fractures with locking plate systems. Recent case reports have focused on technical insertion errors resulting in removal difficulties: poor drilling orientation or cross-threading, destruction of the screw head, and filling of the screw recess with tissue. We report 2 complications of titanium locked plate removal secondary to in vivo reactions including titanium integration with bone and mechanical binding between the titanium screw and plate. We clarify and discuss terminology relevant to implant removal, including cold-welding, galling, fretting, and anodization. Even with optimal technique, in situ reactions can complicate titanium implant removal.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jhsa.2012.04.027

    View details for PubMedID 22652178

  • Titanium Integration With Bone, Welding, and Screw Head Destruction Complicating Hardware Removal of the Distal Radius: Report of 2 Cases JOURNAL OF HAND SURGERY-AMERICAN VOLUME Van Nortwick, S. S., Yao, J., Ladd, A. L. 2012; 37A (7): 1388-1392