Stephen J. O'Connell, M.D.

Director of Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery
Stephen Connell
Stephen J. O'Connell, M.D.

"Helping people regain function or relieve pain so they can get back to their work or favorite activity is what I enjoy about surgery of the hand and shoulder."

Stephen J. O'Connell, M.D. a fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in surgery of the hand, wrist and shoulder. He joined Desert Orthopedic Center in 1988 to establish and direct the Center's hand and upper extremity program.

A native of our nation's capital, Dr. O'Connell grew up in the Maryland suburbs. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. He returned to Maryland for medical school and earned his Medical Degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, where he also served his internship and residency. Dr. O'Connell then completed a fellowship at the renowned Indiana Center for Surgery and Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity in Indianapolis. He also received an added qualification in hand surgery from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Dr. O'Connell is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the American Medical Association, the California Medical Association, the Riverside County Medical Association, as well as the Indiana Hand Society and the University of Maryland Surgical Society.

Dr. O'Connell actively lectures to the medical community on surgical techniques and to the public on topics of interest in orthopedics.

He has a particular interest in arthroscopic rotator cuff and stabilization surgery of the shoulder, fracture of the wrist and hand, and soft tissue reconstruction of the hand and wrist.

Rotator Cuff Repair
Treatment of Common Hand Problems

Educational Videos

Shoulder Anatomy Shoulder Arthroscopy
Shoulder Joint Replacement Rotator Cuff Tear
Hand & Wrist
Normal Hand Anatomy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Dupuytren's Contracture De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
Trigger Finger


"Bionic Golfer" Comes Back Swinging

New Devastating Injury, Same Expert Physician

Stephen J. O'Connell, M.D.

If you're a regular reader of Eisenhower's Healthy Living magazine, you may have first met professional golfer J.R. Delich in 2004 when his finger (multiple) joint replacement surgery was the cover story of this magazine, titled "The Bionic Golfer." At the time, the professional golfer, who played in the United States and European senior tours, suffered from painful arthritis in his left hand so severe he couldn't hold onto a club. "I would hit a shot and the club would go flying out of my hand," he recalls.'

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon Stephen J. O'Connell, MD, Director, Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery and Chairman of Desert Orthopedic Center, performed a cutting-edge procedure, implanting new finger joints made from an innovative material called pyrocarbon.

"They're still there 14 years and a number of tournament wins later," says Dr. O'Connell, who is an avid golfer himself and has become friends with Delich. "J.R.'s hands are so arthritic, it's hard to imagine he can hold a club, but he has the most beautiful swing." At the end of 2015, however, Delich was once again sidelined from the game he loves.

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