Lauren E. Wessel, MD
Accepting new patients

Lauren E. Wessel, MD

  • Hand Surgery|
  • Orthopedic Oncology|
  • Orthopedic Surgery
Average rating: 5.0
| 126 ratings
Downtown Los Angeles Orthopaedic Surgery | 403 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Dr. Lauren E. Wessel, MD is trained in Hand and Upper Extremity surgery with additional training in Orthopaedic Oncology. She works with orthopedic conditions of the hand and sees the full range of upper extremity pathology, including trauma, athletic injuries, arthritis, peripheral nerve problems and vascular conditions with a specialized knowledge base to treat upper extremity tumors. She has an additional interest in reconstruction after amputation, using techniques such as targeted muscle reinnervation and regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces.

Dr. Wessel completed her orthopaedic training at the top ranked institution in the nation, Hospital for Special Surgery. She completed her hand surgery training at Washington University in St. Louis where she saw a full breadth of upper extremity pathology and learned from a group of the most prominent hand surgeons in the country. She then furthered her specialization in the treatment of upper extremity bone and soft tissue tumors as well as in limb salvage and reconstruction at the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Wessel was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area.

Dr. Wessel is one of few hand surgeons with specific knowledge and training in upper extremity tumors. She is amongst fewer than five hand surgeons in the country with these credentials and is the only dual upper extremity and tumor trained surgeon on the West Coast. Her specialized training affords her patients expertise that can guide their care in defining the highest quality and least morbid treatment to upper extremity tumors, calling on her understanding of the roles of interdisciplinary treatment in care of musculoskeletal oncology and her understanding of upper extremity anatomy and biomechanics in surgical reconstruction for her patients. With regard to limb salvage, her hand surgery training affords superior care for upper extremity patients through her understanding of nerve and tendon transfers, soft tissue reconstruction and upper extremity arthroplasty, which are techniques unique to hand fellowship trained surgeons. With her knowledge of soft tissue techniques, Dr. Wessel has additional expertise in the treatment of post-traumatic upper extremity reconstruction.





Orthopaedic Oncology, UCLA Orthopedic Surgery, 2022
Hand Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 2021


Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, 2020


MD, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, 2015


  • Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society Alexandra J. Kirkley, MD, Academic Traveling Fellowship, Traveling Fellow, 2022
  • Emerging Leaders Program, American Orthopaedic Association, 2020-2022
  • Russell F. Warren MD, Award for Excellence in Orthopaedic Basic/Translational Research, New York, NY, 2020
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Downtown LA

Downtown Los Angeles Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopedic Surgery| Sports Medicine| Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Surgery +3 more specialties
Santa Monica

Santa Monica Orthopaedic Surgery

Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Surgery| Hand Surgery| Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery +8 more specialties

Hospital Affiliations

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center



  • Hand Surgery
  • Upper Extremity Tumors
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Ultrasound
  • Sarcoma
  • Gender Equity



  1. Wessel LE, Kerluku J, Nwawka OK, Miller TT, Nguyen J, Fufa DT. Sonographic Changes in the Median Nerve Predict Conversion to Surgery after Corticosteroid Injection of the Carpal Tunnel. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2022 Jul 01. Online ahead of print.
  2. Wessel LE, Goldfarb CA, Vuillermin C, Hutchinson DT, Bohn D, Steinman S, Wall LB. The Impact of Isolated versus Multiple Osteochondromas: Analysis of the CoULD Registry. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 2022 Aug 1;42(7):387-392.
  3. Letchinger R, Kerluku J, Wessel LE, Noland S, Fufa DT. Assessing and Addressing Gender Gaps in the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. JHS. 2022 Jun 15;S0363-5023(22)00210-6.
  4. Wessel LE, Paulson AE, Graesser EA, Moore AM, Dy CJ. Moving the Needle: Directed Intervention by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand is Effective in Encouraging Diversity in Expert Panel Composition. JHS GO. 2022 Jan 22;4(2):65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsg.2021.11.006.
  5. Wessel LE, Christ AB, Athanasian EA. Impact of Patient and Tumor Characteristics on Range of Motion and Recurrence Following Treatment of Enchondromas of the Hand. J Hand Surg Am. 2022;S0363-5023(21)00795-4. doi:10.1016/j.jhsa.2021.11.027
  6. Chen FR, Kerluku J, Manzi JE, Chen AZ, Nguyen JT, Wessel LE, Osei DA, Fufa DT. Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire Scores Alone Do Not Predict Surgical Intervention for Patients With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Hand (N Y). 2022;15589447211072226. doi:10.1177/15589447211072226
  7. Wessel LE, Gu A, Asadourian PA, Stepan JG, Fufa DT, Osei DA. The Epidemiology of Carpal Tunnel Revision Over a 1-Year Follow-Up Period. JHS. 2021 Sep;46(9):758-764. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2021.04.003.
  8. Loisel F, Wessel LE, Morse KW, Victoria C, Meyers K, Wolfe SWW. Is the Dorsal Fiber-Splitting Approach to the Wrist Safe? A Kinematic Analysis and Introduction of the Window Approach. JHS. 2021 Jul 26;S0363-5023(21)00368-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2021.05.029.
  9. Wessel LE, Kim J, Morse KW, Loisel F, Koff, MF, Breighner RE, Doty S, Wolfe SW. The Dorsal Ligament Complex: A Cadaveric, Histology and Imaging Study. JHS. 2021 Jul 19;S0363-5023(21)00340-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2021.06.003.
  10. Gu A, Fassihi SC, Wessel LE, Kahlenberg CA, Ast MP, Sculco PK, Nunley RN. Comparison of Revision Risk Based on Timing of Knee Arthroscopy prior to Total Knee Arthroplasty. J Bone Joint Surg. 2021;103(8):660-667. doi:10.2106/JBJS.20.00218.

See all publications (PDF)


  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Centivo
  • Cigna
  • First Health
  • Health Net of California
  • Interplan (part of HealthSmart)
  • L.A. Care
  • MultiPlan
  • UFCM Health System
  • Prime Health Services
  • Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS)
  • UnitedHealthcare

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  • Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society Alexandra J. Kirkley, MD, Academic Traveling Fellowship, Traveling Fellow, 2022
  • Emerging Leaders Program, American Orthopaedic Association, 2020-2022
  • Russell F. Warren MD, Award for Excellence in Orthopaedic Basic/Translational Research, New York, NY, 2020
  • Todd J. Albert MD, Leadership Award, New York, NY, 2020
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting Scholarship—Scholarship Recipient, 2020-2022
  • New York Society for Surgery of the Hand,  New York, NY—Second Place Abstract, Residents and Fellows Meeting, 2020
  • Hand Rehabilitation Foundation Travel Grant,  Snowmass, CO—Grant Recipient, 2020
  • Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, New York, NY—First Place Clinical Science Award, 2019
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand, 74th Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV—Best Papers Award, 2019
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV—Game Changers Award, 2019
  • Esther Diamond Humanitarian Fund Grant, New York, NY—Grant Recipient, 2018
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand, 73rd Annual Meeting, Boston, MA—Best Papers Award, 2018
  • Eastern Orthopedic Association, 48th Annual Meeting Miami, FL—Resident/Fellow Travel Grant, 2017
  • The American Society for Surgery of the Hand, 70th Annual Meeting Seattle, WA—Clinical Pearl Award Winner, 2015
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Medical Education Challenge Grant Winner, St. Louis, MO, 2012
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant, Institute for Healthcare Improvement Leadership Academy, Cambridge, MA, 2012
  • Magna Cum Laude, Duke University 2009
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society, Duke University 2009
  • Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honors Society, Duke University 2009
  • WERC Consortium for Environmental Education & Technology Development —First place in division, 2009
  • Van Hollen (Maryland 8th District) Public Service Award Recipient —Awarded for exceptional feats in public service, 2005