ONE OF MY TOUGHEST CASES: Elbow to Wrist Reconstruction
Eric R. George M.D.
Hand Center of Louisiana
4228 Houma Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70006
21 years in practice
Bachelor of Science – Political Science and Chemistry, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia
M.D. – Marshall University School of Medicine
Native of West Virginia
“If you think about it, your hands are what allow you to do anything and everything you like to do – whether that be knitting, playing a sport or just making a meal,” says Dr. Eric R. George, founder of the Hand Center of Louisiana, a comprehensive center that focuses specifically on problems related to the upper extremities.
George says it was a mixture of the intricacies involved with working on such a vital part of the human anatomy, paired with the ability to see patients of every age and background, that drew him to his specialty.
Following the completion of his training with a fellowship in orthopedic hand and upper extremity reconstruction at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, George – a native of Huntington, West Virginia – was looking to move his family back to the southeast. At the time, he says, there were a lot of industrial accidents occurring in the oil industry around New Orleans. “Safety wasn’t what it is today,” he says. “So there was a great need for hand surgeons.”
It was during this time that he received one of his most difficult cases, a victim of an offshore oil rig explosion.
“I had to do a total elbow and wrist reconstruction,” he says. “And there were burns as well, which means you have tendon and nerve injury, so I had to do some nerve transfers and tendon reconstruction. I ended up using some synthetic joints in the fingers.”
Since safety has, fortunately, improved greatly in the oil industry, George now sees a wider array of patients, including NFL and NBA players such as Jimmy Graham and Anthony Davis.
“My greatest joys are when I get a hug from a grateful patient or hear someone call out to me on the street, ‘Hey doc, it’s working great,’” he says. “It’s so rewarding to be able to get people back to doing what they love to do.”