Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Robert A. Kaufmann, MD

  • Professor

Education & Training

  • MD, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
  • Residency: Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
  • Fellowship: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Philadelphia Hand Center, Philadelphia, PA

Representative Publications

Shetty S, Nelson B, Knopp B, Schneppendahl J, Kaufmann RA. Strength of Humeral and Ulnar Intramedullary Screw Fixation. J Hand Surg Am. 2021 Sep 24:S0363-5023(21)00489-5.

Nguyen DM, Murawski CD, Fu FH, Kaufmann RA. Stress Shielding of Ligaments Using Nonabsorbable Suture Augmentation May Influence the Biology of Ligament Healing. J Hand Surg Am. 2021 Oct 26:S0363-5023(21)00608-0.

Wilps T, Kaufmann RA, Yamakawa S, Fowler JR. Elbow Biomechanics: Bony and Dynamic Stabilizers. J Hand Surg Am. 2020 Jun;45(6):528-535.

Kaufmann RA, Wilps T, Musahl V, Debski RE. Elbow Biomechanics: Soft Tissue Stabilizers. J Hand Surg Am. 2020 Feb;45(2):140-147.

Kaufmann RA, D'Auria JL, Schneppendahl J.Total Elbow Arthroplasty: Elbow Biomechanics and Failure.J Hand Surg Am. 2019 Aug;44(8):687-692.

Latz D, schiffner E, Schneppendahl j, Hilsmann F, Seiler L, Jungbluth P, Kaufmann RA, Windolf J, Gehrmann SV. Doctor, When can I drive? The range of motion of the elbow while driving a car. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2019 Jun, 28(6):1139-45.              

Latz D, Koukos C, Boeckers P, Jungbluth P, Schiffner E, Kaufmann RA, Gehrmann SV. Influence of Wrist Position on the Metacarpophalangeal Joint Motion of the Index through Small Finger. Hand 2019 Mar, 14(2):259-63.

Latz D, Schiffner E, Schneppendahl j, Klein K, Oezel L, Seiler LF, Jungbluth P, Kaufmann RA, Windolf J, Gehrmann SV. Doctor, When can I drive? The range of motion of the knee while driving a car. Knee. 2019 Jan, 2(1):33-39.            

Kadow TR, Kaufmann RA, Goitz RJ, Fowler JR.  Prevalence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in a Hand Surgeon's Practice.  J Hand Microsurg. 2018 Aug;10(2):79-81.

Lögters TT, Lee HH, Gehrmann S, Windolf J, Kaufmann RA.  Proximal Phalanx Fracture Management.  Hand (N Y). 2018 Jul;13(4):376-383.

Johnson J, Fowler J, Costello J, Ruppert K, Kaufmann R. Optimal Oblique Radiographs to Identify Fifth Carpometacarpal Dorsal Subluxations: A Cadaveric Study. J Hand Surg Am. 2018 Dec;43(12):1139.e1-1139.e5.

Graham KS, Golla S, Gehrmann SV, Kaufmann RA. Quantifying the Center of Elbow Rotation: Implications for Medial Collateral Ligament Reconstruction.  Hand (N Y). 2017 Dec 1:15


Research Interests

As a committed educator, I teach orthopedic residents as well as hand surgery fellows in clinic and in the OR and emphasize an understanding of common problems while encouraging them to think broadly and critically.  For these educational efforts, I received the Golden Apple Teaching Award in both 2008 and 2017.   

My ability to speak German fluently inspired me to explore unique opportunities to collaborate with surgeons abroad.  I have taught three German fellows, two of which stayed in Pittsburgh for more than a year.  In 2013, I was recognized as an honored guest and the Keynote Speaker for the 2013 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie (DGU) conference in Düsseldorf and five years later I was awarded Honorary Membership in the DGU at their annual meeting in Berlin. ​​All three fellows have risen to the highest level (Chefarzt) in three different German hospitals.

I have been active in biomechanical engineering research with early interests focused on modeling the biomechanics of the wrist as well as investigating the consequences of nerve injury on hand motor control and coordination.  I have also investigated the effect of releasing the intrinsic muscle’s influence on the PIP joint and have examined the impact of CMC thumb arthritis on circumduction motion and kinematics.  My clinical research accomplishments include distal radius fracture management in the elderly as well as characterization of finger joint osteoarthritis.  I have been collaborating with the Orthopaedic Robotics Laboratory under the direction of Richard Debski, PhD on an experimental setup that creates active motion at different levels of shoulder abduction.  My research has been published in major hand and upper extremity journals.  ​

I have been designing an uncemented and non mechanically linked total elbow replacement since 2012. The idea started as a means of avoiding cement fixation and evolved to include a ligament reconstruction that imparts joint stability.  Once these concepts were combined, the potential to improve patient care initiated a journey that started with pencil drawings and continued with a design process that led to multiple prototypes and subsequent implant testing protocols.