Branham Living Out Dream Of Helping People Heal
By Ed Pierce, Managing Editor // March 3, 2013
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Growing up in Tennessee, Daniel Branham loved science and dreamed of becoming a doctor and helping people heal.
Now at the age of 36, Branham is living his dream and has rapidly become one of the top hand and upper extremity surgeons in America.
In practice since 2007, Dr. Branham has found a home with Health First and treats patients for everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to tennis elbow to rotator cuff injuries at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne and also now at Palm Bay Hospital.
“I like doing this because of the people I serve and their cases,” Branham said. “I really enjoy the anatomy and complexity of the hand. It’s very delicate, and injuries to it are unforgiving. It’s gratifying to coordinate with other physicians and therapists in treatment.”
Branham graduated from medical school at the University of Tennessee and then finished an internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.
He also completed a fellowship at the University of Florida in hand and upper extremity surgery.
He specializes in shoulder arthroplasty, upper extremity fractures and reconstructive surgery.
A bachelor, Branham enjoys mountain climbing, playing the guitar, traveling and running when not seeing patients or operating.
“My family is really proud of me and they’re excited that I became a doctor,” he said.
“I get phone calls from them all the time asking me for advice about medical questions, even if it’s outside of the realm of what I know about. They are all very supportive of my career.”
Relatively New Field
Dr. Branham wants the public to know that hand and upper extremity surgery is a relatively new field of specialized medicine.
“It really came about as its own niche after World War II,” he said,
“The hand is an anatomical entity all of its own with nerves, blood vessels, muscles, bones and skin that all work together. As such, it’s a highly specialized anatomical unit that requires surgical specialization.”
Prior to the emergence of hand surgery as a focused specialty, an orthopedic surgeon treated repair to the hand’s bones, while a vascular or general surgeon repaired damaged blood vessels, a neurosurgeon treated nerve damage and a plastic surgeon repaired soft tissue damage.
“I’m almost like a full-service auto mechanic,” Branham said.
“I take care of every single area involving the hand and upper extremities and it makes the treatment much more efficient.”
He said the fastest surgery he’s ever performed was a carpal tunnel procedure that only took about three minutes to finish. The average surgical time for patients he sees ranges from five to 10 minutes.
Dr. Branham said there is often no way to avoid traumatic injuries to the hand, but he does urge caution when working, and wants patients to know he will do everything he can to help heal them.
“In this business you have to believe in yourself,” he said.
“When my career is over, I want to be known as a surgeon who took excellent care of his patients and advanced the cause of medicine and healing, especially in hand and upper extremity injuries.”