About Dr Francisco del Piñal
Born in Santander, northern Spain, in 1960, Dr Francisco del Piñal is considered one of the world’s best hand surgeons. His contributions in the fields of microsurgical toe to hand transfer or arthroscopic surgery techniques on wrist fractures are endorsed and used internationally.
After an intense professional trajectory in Australia and the United States, he returned to his homeland in 1992 to found the Instituto de Cirugía Plástica y de la Mano (Institute of Plastic and Hand Surgery), with clinics in Madrid and Santander.
During the first years of his career he worked actively to overcome the challenges posed by finger replantation, which allowed him to develop techniques for the reconstruction of the catastrophic hand with worldwide impact. In fact, his thumb reconstruction techniques have been awarded by the reference magazine Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as the best article of 2019, and are highlighted in the 2021 edition of Green’s Operative Hand Surgery, international standard for advances in surgery of hand, wrist and elbow.
In 2007, Dr Piñal set the principles of managing the acute catastrophic hand with his article ‘Severe mutilating injuries to the hand: guidelines for organizing the chaos‘, and also of its sequels in subsequent articles, the last of them in the prestigious publication Clinics in Plastic Surgery in 2020.
The Spanish surgeon was, in turn, one of the architects of the development of wrist arthroscopy in the 90s, as well as the creator of multiple procedures, such as dry arthroscopy. Piñal has been president and general secretary of the European Wrist Arthroscopy Society (now International Wrist Arthroscopy Society, IWAS).
Francisco del Piñal has numerous recognitions and outstanding participations in medical events of global scope. He was president of the Congress of the Federation of European Societies for Surgery of the Hand, held in 2016 in Santander, and is president of the Scientific Committee of the one that will be held in Helsinki in 2024.
On the occasion of the CELEBRATION IN SANTANDER (CANTABRIA, SPAIN) IN 2016 OF THE CONGRESS OF THE FEDERATION OF EUROPEAN SOCIETIES FOR SURGERY OF THE HAND, several of the world best upper limb physicians pay tribute to the spanish surgeon Francisco Del Piñal.
Dr Piñal participates regularly in the main world forums on upper limb surgery and microsurgery. Thus, for example, in 2014 he became the first Spanish surgeon to participate in the Congress of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association and in 2019 he gave the keynote address of the annual congress of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) in Las Vegas. , while in 2020 he did the same at the triennial congress of the Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (APFSSH) in Melbourne, among other notable events.
Within his teaching work, Piñal has been visiting principal professor at the Curtis National Hand Center of the University of Baltimore (USA) in 2013, in addition to having held the Harold E. Kleinert-Joseph E. Kutz honorary chair of the American university of Louisville in 2014 or having participated as a visiting professor in the triennial course on advances in wrist surgery at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, USA) in 2019.
Likewise, he has been keynote speaker and guest of honor at meetings of the most prominent national societies of hand surgery, arthroscopy and microsurgery: Australian, Argentine, Belgian, British, Chilean, Spanish, Dutch, Hongkongese, Hungarian, Indian , Italian, Japanese, Polish, South African or Uruguayan, among others.
Piñal is the author of four pioneering books of great success and international benchmarks in the fields of wrist fracture and arthroscopy: ‘Arthroscopic Management of Distal Radius Fractures‘, ‘Arthroscopic Management of Ulnar Pain‘, ‘Atlas of Distal Radius Fractures‘ and ‘Distal Radius Fractures and carpal instabilities’, the latter also translated into Chinese. Furthermore, he has more than 500 papers and publications in national and international congresses and the leadership of a global training program already completed by more than 300 specialists from around the world.
Despite his achievements in fields such as microsurgery or wrist arthroscopy, his greatest current challenge is to eliminate pain in patients diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome or Sudeck’s atrophy. “Although there are patients with pain -he says- there are very few who cannot be cured.”
Among his passions: family (he is a father of six), and high-seas fishing, which he regrets not practicing as much as he would like
In addition to his mother tongue, Spanish, Dr Piñal is fluent in English and French.