Dr. Michael Pensak is a hand surgeon practicing in Toms River, NJ. Dr. Pensak specializes in caring for hand, wrist and forearm problems without the option of surgery unless necessary. Many hand surgeons are also experts in diagnosing and caring for shoulder and elbow problems and tend to suggest non-surgical treatments such as hand therapy or physical therapy.
Education and Training
SUNY Downstate MD 2009
American Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedics
Dr. Michael J. Pensak, MD, FAAOS's Expert Contributions
It’s possible that this could be a side effect of your chemotherapy. There are a few chemotherapeutic agents that can cause damage to nervous system elements which can manifest as numbness and tingling. Alternatively, it could be carpal tunnel, the most common reason for numbness and tingling in the hands. It would be wise to see an orthopedic hand specialist soon. Michael J. Pensak, MD READ MORE
Cold will help reduce acute inflammation during the first 48-72 hours after an injury. However, if they window of time has elapsed it will likely not provide much of a benefit. Heat may afford you some temporary relief particularly before you warm your hand up for therapy and range of motion exercises READ MORE
Yes. Whether a finger or wrist joint dislocation, these must be identified promptly and reduced back to their native anatomical location. READ MORE
When your pain is significant enough that it impacts your quality of life. READ MORE
Pins can come loose if bone stock is poor or they are left in too long. Most pins in fingers are left in for 4-6 weeks, rarely ever longer than that. READ MORE
Often this is idiopathic which means it came out of nowhere. It is a common condition. Often self limiting. Occasionally happens after trauma. It can be associated with endocrine disorders and most commonly diabetes. First line treatment are NSAIDs, oral and or intra articular steroid shots and a stretching program under the supervision of a therapist. Occasionally surgery is warranted. READ MORE
Sometimes atrophy in a muscle can reverse but this depends on how severe the nerve compression or injury is, patients age, underlying comorbidities and how long there has been a nerve lesion present. Most muscle will not regenerate after nerve damage has been present for 1-2 years. READ MORE
This depends on multiple factors including the mechanism of injury, any degree of displacement or malrotation, associated injuries, occupation, etc. Many finger fractures can be treated without surgery with buddy taping and early range of motion. READ MORE
Yes. Either through joint replacement, joint fusion or soft tissue reconstructions. READ MORE
Totally depends on why you had surgery. Certain elective hand procedure for soft tissue problems allow for almost immediate lifting afterwards. More complex procedures like nerve or vessel repairs, fracture fixation, tendon repairs, etc can often have significant lifting restrictions associated with the postoperative protocols. READ MORE
Most definitely. Depends on where the arthritis is. Many women your age suffer from thumb basal joint arthritis. Surgery for this has excellent outcomes. READ MORE
Generally not. Hand shaking can often be caused by a benign essential tremor which originated in the central nervous system. READ MORE
Occasionally. More often than not the radiologist will miss the findings which are evident on the plain Xrays. READ MORE
Some of this could represent swelling in the post traumatic phase of the injury or post surgical phase, if surgery was performed. However, for a severe finger fracture there may be degrees of malalignment and or malrotation which could explain the deviated posture of the finger. READ MORE
This is most likely due to compression neuropathy. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common upper extremity compression neuropathy. You can start by trying over the counter wrist brace that would keep your wrist perfectly straight while you sleep. That should alleviate any pressure on the nerve and minimize your symptomatology. If you get no relief from the brace, you should seek out a hand specialist READ MORE
You may benefit from doing scar massage exercises under the supervision of a hand therapist. You may also benefit from using vitamin E cream to massage into the scar daily. Many of the cutaneous nerves to the skin we are likely cut through. These will be temporarily irritated. It should calm down over time but may take several months. READ MORE
It would be wise to wait until the pandemic situation has improved before embarking on any elective surgery. READ MORE
That is a loaded question. It depends on what your surgery was and what were the reasons for your surgery being performed. Many straightforward simple hand procedures like trigger finger release or small cyst removal’s can take on the order of a couple weeks to a couple months to improve. On the other hand, surgery for arthritis or bad fractures can take on the orders of six months to a year to fully improve. READ MORE
This will depend on what nerve was cut and where it was cut. Will also depend on whether or not this is a sensory nerve, a motor nerve, or a mixed peripheral nerve. Nerves typically regenerate at 1 mm a day from where they are repaired under the best circumstances. Recovery after a nerve surgery is dependent on multiple factors such as age, mechanism of injury and associated medical comorbidities. READ MORE
The short answer is yes. However, it depends on what type of nerve was cut: mixed, sensory, or motor. It also depends on what the mechanism of the injury was, i.e., cut, crush, or stretch. You have age on your side; younger patients typically do better with nerve surgeries than older patients. However, to answer this accurately, one would need to know where the nerve was cut and when it was repaired in relation to the injury. READ MORE
Absolutely. Many patients with carpal tunnel syndrome which is the most common Compression neuropathy in the upper extremity suffer from pain in the hand, mainly in the thumb index long and ring finger. This pain is usually worse at night when people sleep. It can often happen when they talk on the phone or comb their hair, etc. READ MORE
This is most likely due to carpal tunnel syndrome, the most common compression neuropathy in the upper extremity. Less commonly it could be due to cubital tunnel syndrome which often causes numbness in the small finger and the ring finger. Additionally it could be due to a pinched nerve in your neck. It could represent a combination of all three of these entities. READ MORE
- University of Connecticut
Favorite Place to Vacation
Hobbies / Sports
- Skiing. Golf.
Dr. Michael J. Pensak, MD, FAAOS's Practice location
Toms River, NJ 08755Get Direction
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Patient Experience with Dr. Pensak
Get to know Hand Surgeon Dr. Michael J. Pensak, who serves patients in New Jersey.
As a highly-trained and skilled hand surgeon, Dr. Pensak is in practice with Ocean Orthopedic Associates. He sees patients at the offices in Toms River and Old Bridge, New Jersey.
Ocean Orthopedic Associates is a collection of talented, highly trained orthopedic surgeons and staff dedicated to serving Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties. It was founded in 1969 by some of the original orthopedic surgeons to practice in Ocean County and the commitment to excellence and dedication continues today. The goal of Ocean Orthopedic Associates is to provide a comprehensive team approach in order to offer patients a continuum of care from general orthopedics and fracture care to highly specialized spine and joint reconstruction.
Professionally, Dr. Pensak is affiliated with several medical centers in the New Jersey area, including Community Medical Center (Toms River), Ocean Medical Center (Brick), Raritan Bay Medical Center (Old Bridge), and Riverview Medical Center (Red Bank).
A Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (FAAOS), the doctor is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and also achieved a Subspecialty Certificate in Orthopaedic Surgery of the Hand by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS). The ABOS is an organization with the goal of establishing educational and professional standards for orthopedic residents and surgeons as well as evaluating the qualifications and competence of orthopedic surgeons.
Before embarking on his medical career, Dr. Pensak earned his medical degree from the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in 2009. He then went on to complete his Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the University of Connecticut Health Center (UConn). He was the first-ever orthopaedic resident selected to complete a dedicated year of basic science research under his Chairman, Dr. Jay R. Lieberman. Dr. Pensak published numerous basic science investigations during his time at UConn. His work focused on healing critical bone defects through novel gene therapy applications utilizing Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) as well as the administration of parathyroid hormone and demineralized bone matrices. His award-winning research was recognized at numerous regional and national conferences including the prestigious Orthopaedic Research Society. To date, he has authored over 30 abstracts, books, chapters, review articles, and basic science investigations. Upon completion of his residency he pursued a hand and microvascular fellowship at the University of Colorado.
Hand surgery involves surgery of the hand, wrist forearm, elbow, and the peripheral nerves of the upper limb. It also encompasses reconstructive surgery that improves upper limb function. Many disorders and injuries of the hand are treated without surgery, using splints, taping, injections, and hand physiotherapy. Hand surgeons care for these problems with and without surgery. They are specially trained to operate when necessary. Many hand surgeons are also experts in diagnosing and caring for shoulder and elbow problems.
Outside of the office, Dr. Pensak enjoys skiing and playing golf. His favorite place to vacation is in Utah.
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