Shake Hands with Dr. Ryan Hadden, OlyOrtho’s New Hand, Wrist and Elbow Specialist


Healthy and functional hands, wrists and elbows are vital to life in 2023. Imagine being unable to use a computer, phone or TV remote. Or facing limitations to cooking, driving, shaking hands or playing fetch with the dog. Many of us consider some level of dysfunction a tax of growing older, but it doesn’t have to be that way. At Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, Dr. Ryan Hadden will help you toss a baseball, flip a burger or wave to the neighbors with ease.

Dr. Ryan Hadden standing on a porch with his wife, who is holding a child. Three more children stand in front of them.
Dr. Ryan Hadden is joining Olympia Orthopaedic Associates as their newest hand, elbow and wrist specialist. Photo courtesy: Dr. Ryan Hadden

Dr. Ryan Hadden Helps to Keep Hands, Wrists and Elbows Highly Functional

A born athlete from Salem, Oregon – his dad is a National Hall of Fame wrestling coach – Dr. Ryan Hadden played baseball and football, as well as wrestled. It was while in college that he chose medicine, traveling the country to do so. From Oregon State University to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Medicine, he finally returned home to attend Oregon Health and Science University for a residency in orthopaedic surgery. He then traveled to New England to complete his training with a fellowship year at Brown University in Hand, Upper Extremity and Microvascular Surgery.

OlyOrtho quickly sought him out to become part of their team. “I was approached early in my residency training by Dr. Greg Byrd, the senior hand surgeon in the group, anticipating a future need for a third hand surgeon in their practice,” says Hadden. “It became readily evident in our discussion that they were a premier orthopaedic group in the Pacific Northwest.”

And he continues to be impressed by OlyOrtho’s team. “They were and continue to be leaders within The OrthoForum, striving for quality improvement and delivery of the highest quality and value-based care for patients,” says Hadden. “I was approached by several other groups in the Northwest; none of them rivaled OlyOrtho’s camaraderie, practice dynamics and business acumen. OlyOrtho is composed of a select group of surgeons and physicians who are highly respected in their subspecialty communities, some of whom even maintain leadership roles at a national level. It speaks to the caliber of care to expect from OlyOrtho and something I am proud to be a part of.”

Dr. Hadden and three of this kids in the bleacher at a sports game, posing for the camera. His daughter is making a peace sign
A lifelong athlete, Hadden understands the complexities and issues we can face from illness, injury, or age. Photo courtesy: Dr. Ryan Hadden

OlyOrtho’s Specialty Care and Treatment

Hadden calls the human hand a fascinating work of complex engineering. Our hands maintain a beautiful, mathematical relationship reminiscent of the elegant Fibonacci sequence. “For hand surgeons, this qualifies hand surgery into a higher level of complexity and precision,” says Hadden, “I find such challenge intriguing.”

He says one common misconception is that hand and wrist injuries tend to be minor. “The ripple effect of improper management can result in stiffness or instability, poor grip, decreased activity level and hindered work capacity,” says Hadden. “It is paramount to schedule an appointment with a specialist after a hand or wrist injury to avoid any undue complications.”

You should also reach out immediately if you experience numbness, tingling or weakness as these could be signs of nerve compression. “Nerves do not tolerate stretch or compression well and such repetitive insults can affect the health of the nerve, resulting in irreversible loss of sensation or even strength,” he explains.

Dr. Ryan Hadden holding a big fish by a river
Born in Salem, Oregon, Dr. Hadden crisscrossed the country for his education but is thrilled to be returning at last to the Pacific Northwest. Photo courtesy: Dr. Ryan Hadden

At OlyOrtho You’ll Find Equitable Treatment, Personalized Care and Open Transparency

In dealing with patients, Hadden believes in equity, personalized care, and shared decision making when building a customized treatment plan. “As a trained surgeon,” he says, “the scalpel is but one of many tools in my arsenal best utilized when non-operative measures have been exhausted. I will do my best to work with you to ensure goals are met and function is restored in order to get you back to activities that you enjoy.”

When not working, Hadden loves spending time outdoors with his wife and kids and is a skilled medical illustrator. “My passion for bridging art and science began during medical school as my illustrated study aids garnered the attention of a popular medical review book. Now I have narrowed my focus to illustrations related to my field and continue to produce artwork for preoperative planning and furthering education. Much of my inspiration stems from the work of Dr. William Littler, a prolific hand surgeon. To leave a legacy like his for future hand surgeons would be quite the endeavor, but a challenge worth undertaking.”

And he hasn’t strayed far from sports either. A designated medical provider for USA Wrestling, he offers on-the-mat care for high school athletes in national and international competitions. He recently joined Team USA in Istanbul, Turkey for the 2023 United World Wrestling U17 World Championships and hopes to work with local schools and their wrestling programs.

If you’re ready to seek help with ongoing stiffness, tingling or pain in your hands, wrists and elbows give OlyOrtho a call at 360.570.3460 or book an appointment online today. For care after an injury or accident, head to their Orthopaedic Urgent Clinic seven days a week at 3901 Capital Mall Drive SW or call 360.754.7622.


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