“The upper extremity is a masterpiece of evolutionary design and is extremely intricate and complex. There is no “one-size fits all” approach to patient care, and I strive to address each patient’s situation with the most appropriate treatment, while considering their unique needs.”
~ Dr. Michael Pensak ~
About the Practice
Dr. Pensak’s practice provides comprehensive orthopaedic care with a focus on the hand and upper extremities for pediatric, adolescent, and adult patients. He strives to restore form and function and eliminate patients’ pain and suffering. Dr. Pensak is conservative in his approach and emphasizes non-operative treatment modalities and interventions when appropriate. Dr. Pensak’s goal is to encourage patients to make informed medical decisions. As such, he readily employs research-based educational materials from national and international orthopaedic societies, when uniquely developing a plan of care, and counseling patients about their orthopaedic ailments. Based on the presentation of unique patient factors, Dr. Pensak routinely utilizes analgesic/anti-inflammatory medications, various types of physical/occupational/hand therapies, splinting/bracing, and diagnostic/therapeutic injections. His goal is to avoid surgical intervention when possible. You can be comforted to know that each and every treatment recommendation is based on years of schooling, knowledge, biomedical research and thousands of clinical hours and time spent in the operating room. If surgery is recommended, it is because Dr. Pensak believes it is the best way to bring about the most effective relief for your problem. Dr. Pensak accounts for a myriad of factors in treating patients because he understands that no two patients are alike, and most importantly, he tailors evidence-based treatment to the unique needs of each patient.
About the Doctor
Dr. Pensak is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hand and upper extremity care while also treating a wide array of general orthpaedic conditions. He is Board-Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) and also holds a Subspeciality Certificate in Orthopaedic Surgery of the Hand: a designation granted to Board-Certified orthopaedic surgeons who have demonstrated qualifications in hand surgery beyond those expected of other orthopaedic surgeons, by virtue of additional training and a practice characterized by volume and diversity of cases in hand surgery.
Dr. Pensak attended Cornell University and graduated cum laude after majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Animal Physiology. From there, he attended medical school at State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences Center in Brooklyn, NY. As a medical student he became heavily engaged in orthopaedic research under the mentorship of Drs. Shane Nho and John MacGillivray, nationally recognized sports medicine surgeons at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.
After graduating medical school, Dr. Pensak attended the University of Connecticut for his Orthopaedic Surgery residency training. Dr. Pensak was hand-picked by his chairman, Dr. Jay R. Lieberman, an international expert in total joint arthroplasty and leader in the field of orthopaedic gene therapy research, to serve as the first ever research resident at the program. He fulfilled a dedicated year of basic science research in 2011 and completed several scientific investigations while publishing numerous peer-reviewed articles. His research would go on to win several awards and be presented at regional and national conferences. To date, Dr. Pensak has over 25 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and is still actively engaged in research endeavors. You can see a full list of his publications and scholarly activities here.
After residency Dr. Pensak completed his fellowship in hand, upper extremity and microvascular surgery at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus under Dr. Frank Scott. While there, he dealt with a wide breadth of hand and upper extremity disciplines including pediatric, congenital deformities, microsurgery, adult reconstruction and complex trauma.
Dr. Pensak grew up on Long Island, NY and was an avid ice hockey player from a young age. At age thirteen, he knew very little about orthopaedics, but a broken wrist, while playing the sport he loved, led to a chance encounter with a hand surgeon. After being rehabilitated back to his preinjury form and function, Dr. Pensak decided that a career helping others with similar musculoskeletal ailments was right for him and he focused intently on becoming an orthopaedic surgeon. From that point forward, his full academic focus and passion became obtaining the best possible education and training available so he could achieve his goal.
Areas of Specialty
- Adult hand and upper extremity surgery
- Pediatric hand and upper extremity surgery
- General orthopaedics
- Same day appointment for injury and fracture care
- Workers’ compensation claims
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)