A photo of Roger Cornwall.

Roger Cornwall, MD

  • Pediatric Hand Surgeon
  • Clinical Director, Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics 
  • Director, Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship
  • Professor, UC Department of Orthopedic Surgery
I believe that empowering patients is crucial to long-term success in the care of many orthopaedic problems. My holistic approach to complex upper limb conditions considers the health of the whole child before resorting to surgical intervention.



As a pediatric hand and upper extremity surgeon, I perform hand and upper limb surgeries for children and young adults. These can include surgeries for hand injuries, congenital hand differences and brachial plexus injuries.

The intricacy and importance of the human hand and upper limb, combined with the joy and optimism of children, is what drew me to my career. In my practice, I believe that empowering patients is crucial to long-term success in the care of many orthopaedic problems. My holistic approach to complex upper limb conditions considers the health of the whole child before resorting to surgical intervention.

This approach has earned me a number of local and national honors for clinical care, patient and family experience, and teaching. These awards include the Patients’ Choice, Compassionate Doctor and Top 10 Doctor from Vitals, and the Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors award for several years, including 2020.

I founded the Hand and Upper Extremity Center at Cincinnati Children's, where our surgeons, midlevel providers, occupational therapists and nurses work as a team to provide the best possible care to each patient.

I also greatly value research to improve the care we are able to provide. In my clinical research, I focus on patient-reported outcomes of pediatric hand and upper extremity conditions. Listening to the patient perspective is critical to improving our care. In my basic science research, we are examining neuromuscular contractures, particularly those that occur in brachial plexus birth injuries and cerebral palsy. We have discovered the biological basis of these contractures and a way to prevent them using medications. By continuing our translational research, we hope to be able to eliminate the surgeries required for these conditions.

I’m one of only a handful of pediatric orthopaedic surgeons who have been awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health for basic science research. I’ve received multiple research awards from the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) and the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS).

When I’m not working, I cherish parenting my five sons, including two sets of twins. I also write and record music, do gymnastics and run ultramarathons.

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Brachial plexus birth injury and cerebral palsy lead to a common contracture phenotype characterized by reduced functional muscle length and strength. Nikolaou, S; Garcia, MC; Long, JT; Allgier, AJ; Goh, Q; Cornwall, R. 2022; 3.

Rare Presentation of Pediatric Multiple Enchondromatosis Limited to Single Ray or Single Nerve Distribution in the Hand: A Multicenter Case Series. Muffly, BT; O'shaughnessy, MA; Fazal, FZ; Riley, SA; Shah, AS; Cornwall, R; Burke, CS. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 2022; 42:e788-e792.

The Sex-Dependent Role of Myostatin Signaling in Contractures Following Neonatal Brachial Plexus Injury. Emmert, ME; Goh, Q; Shay-Winkler, K; Aggarwal, P; Cornwall, R. 2022; 4:1-4.

Glenohumeral Dysplasia in Brachial Plexus Birth Injury. Soldado, F; Cornwall, R. Congenital and Acquired Deformities of the Pediatric Shoulder Girdle. 2022.

Evaluation of a Grip-Strengthening Algorithm for the Initial Treatment of Chronic, Nonspecific Wrist Pain in Adolescents. Dorich, JM; Cornwall, R. 2022; 4:8-13.

Is a Right Angle the Right Angle? Normal Coronal Radiographic Alignment in the Pediatric Finger Phalanges. Krueger, A; Qudsi, R; Eckstein, K; Cornwall, R. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 2021; 41:e617-e623.

The Biology of Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries. Cornwall, R. Operative Brachial Plexus Surgery. 2021.

ICF linking of patient-reported therapy goals for children with acquired upper extremity impairment. Dorich, JM; Cornwall, R; Uhl, T. Journal of Hand Therapy. 2021.

NRG/ErbB signaling regulates neonatal muscle growth but not neuromuscular contractures in neonatal brachial plexus injury. Ho, BL; Goh, Q; Nikolaou, S; Hu, L; Shay-Winkler, K; Cornwall, R. FEBS Letters. 2021; 595:655-666.

Timing of proteasome inhibition as a pharmacologic strategy for prevention of muscle contractures in neonatal brachial plexus injury. Goh, Q; Nikolaou, S; Shay-Winkler, K; Emmert, ME; Cornwall, R. FASEB Journal. 2021; 35.

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