David Nelson Hand Surgery Greenbrae Marin hand specialist surgery of the hand orthopedics San Francisco



Covid-19 Update: August 28, 2023

We are not currently requiring masks, but we have them if you need one and will wear one if you would liike us to.

We are equipped to give you a telemedicine consultation if indicated.

Pain Update

Dr Nelson is a leader in the US in post-operative pain management. He has been doing pain management research for 35 years. He chaired a symposium on perioperative pain for the International Association for the Study of Pain on October 29, 2020: Perioperative Pain Management.

Patient Safety Update

Dr Nelson is a national leader in the Patient Safety Movement. He is Chair of the Patient Safety Subcommittee for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and has given several talks to the MarinHealth Medical Center as well as at national meetings. He is the author of a series of articles teaching safety and teamwork concepts for surgeons n the operating room. Read one of his essays, published in the national magazine of the American Association for Orthopedic Surgery


This site is designed to give my patients accurate, detailed, scientific information about hand problems, so they are empowered to better manage their own healthcare. I have written all the information on this site in clear, simple English, with great illustrations so that it is easy to understand. We only see 12 patients per day (most surgeons see 30-60), so I have time to spend with you to really understand you and your hand problem. I look forward to serving you.

I am a nationally-recognized expert in managing post-operative pain with minimal opioids (often but incorrectly called "narcotics"). I have delivered scientific papers on this topic at two national meetings in 2014 (AAOS and ASSH), two scientific papers at the 2017 American Society for Surgery of the Hand, and a poster on my pain management won Best Poster of 2017 at that same meeting. If you are looking for the report on the national symposium I organized on Managing Surgical Pain at the annual meeting of the American Academy for Orthopedic Surgeons, click on the link. The transcript of the podcast on pain is here.


Elected by Doctors and Patients as one of the
Top Hand Surgeons in the Bay Area



Patients: If you are not yet my patient, consider making an appointment. I would be happy to see you. If you do not want to become my patient, you are still welcome to read any part of my site, but please read this.

Doctors: Links to my site are encouraged. You may copy any of my material for patient education. However, if instead of copying, you link to the material you like, when I update the page, your patients will automatically see the updated material without your updating your site. It will save you a lot of busywork! I update the site on an almost daily basis. I will try my best not to ever change the URL's of the patient educational material, so your links will not be broken. I have not changed them since 2000.