Research Articles

The Members of VHSA collaborate with doctors within St Vincent’s Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital and Dandenong Hospital; researchers at the O’Brien Institute, Department of Biomechanical Engineering at Melbourne University and Monash Institute of Medical Engineering at Monash University. Research is a key activity for the clinical fellows who spend a year training in the subspecialty of hand surgery with VHSA.

Recent Publications

Reconstruction of the proximal scaphoid with a medial femoral trochlea osteochondral graft: minimum 2-year results.
Keating C, McCombe D, Powell C, Maloney P, Ek E, Tham S. JHS (A) 2020

Histomorphology of the subregions of the scapholunate interosseous ligament and its enthesis.
Liew MY, Mortimer JW, Paxton JZ, Tham SK, Rust PA. J Wrist Surg 2020

Surgical repair of triangular fibrocartilage complex tears: A systematic review.
Edward Liu, Kary Suen, Stephen Tham, Eugene Ek. J Wrist Surg, 2020

3.5 to 18 years outcome data for costal osteochondral grafts for salvage of the proximal pole of the scaphoid.
Charles Bain, Stephen Tham, Chris Powell, Anthony Berger, Aaron Withers, David McCombe. J Hand Surg (E), 2020

Ligamentisation and remnant integration: Implications for scapholunate ligament reconstruction.
Tim Lindsay, Harley Myers, Stephen Tham. J Wrist Surgery, 2020

Measurement of scaphoid bone microarchitecture: A computed tomography imaging study and implications for screw placement.
Lachlan Huntington, Avanthi Mandaleson, Freya Hik, Eugene Ek, David Ackland, Stephen Tham. J Hand Surg Am, 2020

Medial femoral trochlear graft for scaphoid waist non-union: A case report and review of the literature.
Bruno Crepaldi, Cameron Keating, Eugene Ek, Stephen Tham. J Wrist Surgery 2020; 9:186-189

Recommendations for management of neonatal brachial plexus palsy: Based on clinical review.
Eldridge B, Alexander N, McCombe D. J Hand Ther. 2020 Jul-Sep;33(3):281-287.

Ossification of the superficial radial nerve causing pain: an unusual case of progressive osseous heteroplasia.
Miles O, Cabalag M, McCombe D. ANZ J Surg. 2020 Mar 3.

Scaphocapitate fusion for the treatment of Lichtman stage III Kienböck’s disease. Results of a single centre study with literature review.
Collon S, Tham SKY, McCombe D, Bacle G. Hand Surg Rehabil. 2020 May;39(3):201-206.

An Update on the Management of Nerve Gaps
Alexander W, Coombs C.  Australas J Plast Surg. 2020; 3(1):3–7.

Paediatric Facial Trauma and Scars
Alexander W. AusDoc Clinical Focus. 2020; 18-19 (

The twist X-ray – A novel test for dynamic scapholunate instability.
S Sikora, SK Tham, J Harvey, T Goldring, A Rotstein, ET Ek. J Wrist Surgery 8(1):61-65,2019.

Eosinophilic Fasciitis – Beware of the rare form of hand contracture
O Ou Yang, A Berger.  ANZ Journal of Surgery 2019

Fixation of the fractured lunate in Kienböck’s disease.
Justin Chou, Guillaume Bacle, Eugene TH Ek, Stephen KY Tham. J Hand Surg(A) 44(1): 67.e1-67.e8, 2019

Dual-energy contrast-enhanced CT to evaluate scaphoid osteonecrosis with surgical correlation.
Pianta M, McCombe D, Slavin J, Hendry S, Perera W. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2019 Feb;63(1):69-75.

Quantitative analysis of in-vivo thumb carpometacarpal joint kinematics using four-dimensional computed tomography.
Wang KK, Zhang X, McCombe D, Ackland DC, Ek ET, Tham SK. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2018 Dec;43(10):1088-1097.

A Blinded, Randomised Trial Comparing Bicolumnar Arthrodesis to Radioscapholunate Arthrodesis in SLAC II Arthritis: A Pilot Study.
S Chan, S Sikora, J Harvey, S Tham. JHS(E) 2018, 43(8):813-819.

Scaphoid fixation in a non-union model: A biomechanical study comparing 3 types of fixation.
Mandaleson A, Tham SK, Lewis C, Ackland DC, Ek ET. J Hand Surg(A) 43(3): 221-228, 2018

Scalp Coordinate System: A new tool to accurately describe cutaneous lesions on the scalp: A Pilot Study.
Alexander W, Miller G, Alexander P, Henderson M, Webb A. ANZ Journal of Surgery 2018

Acute Lumbar Paraspinal Compartment Syndrome- A Systematic Review
Alexander W, Low N, Pratt G. ANZ Journal of Surgery 2018

The Incidence and Significance of Raised Troponin Levels in Acute Burns
Alexander W, Schneider H-G, Smith C, Cleland H. Journal of Burn Care and Research. Journal of Burn Care and Research. 2018 Aug 17;39(5):729-735

Second toe wrap-around flap for reconstruction of a ring avulsion injury.
Murphy AD, Tham SK. J Hand Surg 42E (8), 857-858, 2017

Assessment of normal trapeziometacarpal joint alignment.
Rust PA, Ek E, Tham SK. J Hand Surg (E) 42E (6), 605-609, 2017

Radial column excision and four-corner fusion for the treatment of basal thumb arthritis and scapholunate advance collapse wrist or midcarpal arthritis.
Mandaleson A, Wagels M, Tham S. J Wrist Surg 2017; 06(04):294-300.

The use of vascularised bone capping to prevent and treat amputation stump spiking in the paediatric population.
Murphy AD, Atkins SE, Thomas DJ, McCombe D, Coombs CJ. Microsurgery. 2017 Sep;37(6):589-595.

Paediatric fingertip composite grafts: Do they all go black?
Murphy AD, Keating CP, Penington A, McCombe D, Coombs CJ. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2017 Feb;70(2):173-177.

Scaphocapitate fusion in advanced Kienbocks disease: Retrospective clinical study at 4.8 year follow-up.
Collon S, Berger A, Tham S, McCombe D. Hand 2016; 11(1_suppl), 33s-34s.

The “Trigger” Thumb Locked in Extension – An Unusual Presentation of a Common Paediatric Condition.
Johnstone BR, Currie LJ, Ek EW, Wilks DJ, McCombe DB, Coombs CJ. J Hand Surg Asian Pac Vol. 2016 Jun;21(2):234-8.

Re: Knight R, Pagkalos J, Timmons C et al. Caffeine consumption does not have an effect on digital microvascular perfusion assessed by laser Doppler imaging on healthy volunteers: a pilot study. J Hand Surg Eur. 2015, 40: 412-5.
Wilks DJ, McCombe DB, Coombs CJ. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2016 Feb;41(2):235.

Are overweight and obese patients who receive autologous free-flap breast reconstruction satisfied with their postoperative outcome? A single-centre study.
Sinha S, Ruskin O, D’Angelo A, McCombe D, Morrison WA, Webb A. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2016 Jan;69(1):30-6.

4D printing: A new evolution in CT-guided stereolithographic modelling. Principles and application.
Chae M, Hunter-Smith DJ, Spychal R, De Silva I, Tham S, Rozen WM. J Reconstr Microsurg. 2015 Jul; 31(6): 458-463.

Funding analysis of bilateral autologous free-flap breast reconstructions in Australia.
Sinha S, Ruskin O, McCombe D, Morrison W, Webb A. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2015 Aug;68(8):1120-6.

Accuracy and complications of CT-guided core needle biopsy of peripheral nerve sheath tumours.
Pianta M, Chock E, Schlicht S, McCombe D. Skeletal Radiol. 2015 Sep;44(9):1341-9.

Spinal accessory nerve transfer outperforms cervical root grafting for suprascapular nerve reconstruction in neonatal brachial plexus palsy.
Seruya M, Shen SH, Fuzzard S, Coombs CJ, McCombe DB, Johnstone BR. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 May;135(5):1431-8.

Case of knee pain in a child: Intra-neural ganglion of the tibial nerve.
Palit V, Paddle A, Rozen WM, Fairbank S, McCombe D. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Jul;51(7):727-30. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12851. Epub 2015 Mar 10.PMID: 25756932 No abstract available.

Book Chapters:

McCombe D and Soldado F. Deformities of the Hand and Fingers. In: Green’s Operative Hand Surgery. 8th Ed (Ed) Wolfe SW, Pederson WC, Hotchkiss RN, Kozin S and Cohen M, Churchill Livingstone, New York. In press.

Kay SP and McCombe D. General Principles and Techniques. In: Oxford Textbook of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.(Ed) Kay SP, McCombe D and Wilks D, Oxford University Press, Oxford. In press.

McCombe D. and Morrison WA. Microsurgery. In: Oxford Textbook of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.(Ed) Kay SP, McCombe D and Wilks D, Oxford University Press, Oxford. In press.

McCombe D. Traumatic injury to the child’s hand. In: Oxford Textbook of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.(Ed) Kay SP, McCombe D and Wilks D, Oxford University Press, Oxford. In press.

Kay SP and McCombe D. Deformities of the Hand and Fingers. In: Green’s Operative Hand Surgery. 7th Ed (Ed) Wolfe SW, Pederson WC, Hotchkiss RN, Kozin S and Cohen M, Churchill Livingstone, New York 2016

McCombe D. Hand Injuries in Children. In: Disorders of the Hand (Ed) Trail IA and Fleming ANM Springer, London 2015