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Thomas Graham, MD


Thomas Graham, MD

Appointed: 2010

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Thomas Graham, MD
Department: Cleveland Clinic Innovations
Chief, Cleveland Clinic Innovations
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code GCIC10
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Thomas Graham, MD
Department: Orthopaedic Surgery
Vice Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code GCIC10
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Type of Doctor:
Adults Only

Biographical Sketch

A native of Eastern Ohio, Dr. Thomas J. Graham attended Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh before earning his college degree in Chemistry (B.A. with Honors) from Williams College in Massachusetts. He received his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and then served his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Graham completed his fellowship in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery at the renowned Indiana Hand Center. He extended his training as a Visiting Surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, studying surgery of the elbow.

Dr. Graham is Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery, and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Surgery of the Hand. In addition, he completed the Executive Management Program in Health Care Administration jointly sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation the Weatherhead School of Western Reserve University.

In 1994, he joined the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at The Cleveland Clinic and became the Head of their Upper Extremity Division before his departure in 2000. While at the Clinic, Graham was recognized for his clinical expertise in surgery of the hand, wrist and elbow with special concentration on complicated reconstruction after trauma, complex elbow disorders and congenital hand surgery; he also developed a special focus on the care of the elite athlete's hand and elbow disorders. Dr. Graham served as the Hand Surgery Consultant for all of the professional sports teams in Cleveland, as well as the Cleveland Symphony and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. From 1991-1994 he was affiliated with the United States Olympic Committee as an Exercise Physiologist during the 1994 Los Angeles Olympic Quadrennium.

In 2000, Graham accepted the position as Director of The Curtis National Hand Center and Chief, UMH Division of Hand Surgery in Baltimore, Maryland. With the singular Congressional Designation, this Hand Center is the world's largest and serves as a focal training center in the specialty. He also serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Union Memorial Hospital and has appointments as an Associate Professor in both Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgery at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Graham has published numerous articles on almost every aspect of hand and upper extremity surgery, lectured widely around the world and edited several books. He founded and directed The Cleveland Clinic?s Orthopaedic International Educational Symposium at the Greenbrier Resort. Dr. Graham had an extended administrative role as Chief of the Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital of Cleveland from 1997-2000.

He is among the youngest doctors ever to be chosen for the prestigious publication, Woodward & White's Best Doctors in America as well as Castle Connolly's America's Top Doctors. Graham was repeatedly voted as one of "Cleveland's Top Doctors" in Cleveland Magazine, and then received the same honor from his peers in Baltimore by inclusion in "Top Doctors" in Baltimore Magazine. He was chosen for Strathmore's Who's Who in 2000. Dr. Graham has been the subject of several magazine articles in the popular press and has been the recipient of many awards for his clinical and academic contributions including the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Medal, The Riordan-Brand Award in Hand Biomechanics, and the prestigious John J. Fahey, Jr., M.D., North American Traveling Fellowship. Graham was again among the youngest surgeons to be admitted for fellowship in the American Orthopaedic Association, the highest academic honor bestowed in the specialty.

Graham was featured on ABC's Nightline for his role in the treatment of 9/11 survivors. His involvement with these heroes was also chronicled in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution. He has also been featured on the Golf Channel, ESPN, The Daily Show and other media outlets.

Presently, Dr. Graham's practice is recognized as the premier destination for the care of the professional athletes and entertainer's hand and wrist. His skills are requested by athletes from all major sports and he maintains formal relationships with the many franchises, agencies and leagues as a Team Physician or their official Hand Surgery Consultant, including the Baltimore Ravens (NFL), Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Cleveland Indians (MLB), Washington Nationals (MLB) and Toronto Blue Jays (MLB), Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) and Cleveland Browns (NFL). He is the recognized Hand Surgery Consultant for the NHL, MLB and NFL and his work with the PGA Tour is well-chronicled.

Because of Dr. Graham's extensive experience and relationships in professional sports, he began an exciting new endeavor in 2002 as the Director of MedStar SportsHealth; the Sports Operations Division of the mid-Atlantic's largest healthcare system. Through this involvement, he was able to architect a large scale program for the care of the athlete and active individual through partnerships between his Health System and teams, corporations, schools and the Government.

In 2008, Dr. Graham paid the ultimate honor to his longtime patient and friend, Mr. Arnold Palmer, by launching the Arnold Palmer SportsHealth Center in Baltimore, destined to be among the country's premier centers for the care of sports injuries. In addition to his status as the Founder, Dr. Graham serves as the Surgeon-in-Chief of the Palmer Center, directing its operations and strategy.

Graham's many developments in surgical science, including his many patents on implants and other devices have provided his specialty with the most contemporary tools for advancing the health and function of patients worldwide. He has started and divested medical device companies, is a principal in operating corporations and serves on the Boards of several concerns in the medical device space.

In 2010, Dr. Graham's career was marked by a return to the Cleveland Clinic in a role that leveraged both his extensive accomplishments in medical leadership and entrepreneurial endeavor, as well as his unique practice focus. He was named Chairman of Cleveland Clinic Innovations and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Graham was excited and inspired to join these two already-successful facets of the Clinic's diverse base, and quickly began to grow the identity and scope of the clinical and commercial concerns. Graham believes that the Cleveland Clinic will add to its considerable legacy as a local medical icon and international healthcare resource by pursuing clinical excellence while fostering and nurturing creative thought and transcendent ideas.

Dr. Graham is married to his childhood sweetheart, CeCe, and they have two daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth. He enjoys golf, outdoor activities, travel and anatomic drawing.

Professional Highlights

  • Among the youngest Orthopaedic Surgeons ever to be inducted into the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA), the specialty's highest academic achievement.
  • Served as the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Hand & Upper Extremity Center from its inception until he departure from the Cleveland Clinic in 2000.
  • From 2000-2010, served as the Chief of the Congressionally-designated Curtis National Hand Center, the largest specialty practice of its kind in the world.
  • Was appointed Chairman of Cleveland Clinic Innovations and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery upon his return to the Cleveland Clinic in 2010.
  • Serves as Team Physician or Hand Surgery Consultant for professional sports organizations in the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL, as well as PGA and LPGA Tours.

Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - The Indiana Hand Center
Hand & Upp. Ext Surg
Indianapolis, IN USA
Residency - University of Michigan Health System
Orthopedic Surgery
Ann Arbor, MI USA
Medical School - University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Cincinnati, OH USA
Undergraduate - Williams College
Williamstown, MA USA


  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Orthopaedic Surgery- Surgery of the Hand

Specialty Interests

Care of the hand and wrist in elite athletes

Awards & Honors

Dr. Graham has been recognized by his peers and his patients as one of the leading surgeons in his field. He has received awards for his scholarly work, clinical and service excellence, and remains dedicated to training future leaders. He has lectured around the world and furthered his specialty by authoring over 100 publications related to Hand Surgery. Among his many awards include:

  • Riordan-Brand Award in Hand Biomechanics
  • John J. Fahey Memorial North American Traveling Fellowship
  • Fellowship in the American Orthopaedic Association
  • Castle & Conolloy "Top Doctors"
  • Woodward & White "Best Doctors in America"
  • Cleveland Magazine " Top Doctor"
  • Baltimore Magazine "Top Doctor"
  • Strathmore's "Who's Who in America"

Innovations & Patents

Dr. Graham has applied for or received over 30 United States and European patents. His pioneering work includes inventing total joint replacements for the elbow, radial head and wrist. He has also created fracture fixation devices for almost all bones of the hand, wrist and elbow. Now as Chairman of Cleveland Clinic Innovations, he assists other physicians and scientists to develop their ideas into devices and procedures to help improve the lives of patients.


  • Board Certified: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) Surgery of the Hand
  • Fellowship American Orthopaedic Association
  • Membership American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Treatment & Services

  • Hand Reconstruction
  • Hand Surgery
  • Orthopaedics
  • Wrist Reconstruction
  • Wrist Surgery

Specialty in Diseases and Conditions

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 12/16/2014, Dr. Graham has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Royalty Payments. Dr. Graham receives or has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Biomet, Inc.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • English