Robert Bass, M.D., is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in the surgical care of the hand, wrist, elbow, arm, and shoulder and is particularly experienced at managing fractures of the wrist and hand. 

After earning his medical degree at UT Southwestern Medical School, Dr. Bass completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Iowa and then received advanced training in hand surgery and microsurgery through a fellowship at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. 

He also holds an MBA in health care organization and leadership from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Bass rejoined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2013. Previously, he performed hand surgery with a group in Colorado and spent several years each at UT Southwestern and Baylor, as well as in private practice in Frisco, Texas. 

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, serves on the government affairs committee of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, and is a member of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, the Texas Medical Association, the Dallas County Medical Society, and the American College of Healthcare Executives, among other professional organizations. 

Dr. Bass has delivered scores of presentations, contributed to the book Orthopaedics, and published several academic articles.

He is consistently included on D Magazine's Best Doctors in Hand Surgery list and was included in their Best Doctors in Collin County list for 2021.

Personal Note

Dr. Bass and his wife have four grown children: Their oldest son is an Army veteran and currently lives and works in Colorado at USAA; one of their daughters recently completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and works in San Antonio; their other daughter earned a degree in elementary education at the University of North Texas; and their youngest is currently a second year medical student here at UTSW. The Bass family also includes two 1-year-old Labradors, Lucy and Ricky, who the Basses say keep them from being lonely as empty nesters. 

Meet Dr. Bass

Hand and Upper Extremity Specialist

Long before Robert Bass, M.D., saw his first orthopaedic patient, he was one himself.

As an athletic youth growing up in Austin while his father, an oral surgeon, was stationed at Fort Hood, he suffered a shoulder separation and a knee injury. During treatment, he got a close look at the specialty and liked what he saw.

“The hand is high-priced real estate,” says Dr. Bass, an orthopaedic surgeon with subspecialty training and board certification in hand surgery and microsurgery. “When you have a hand or upper-extremity problem, we’re the people you should seek out.

"The way the hand works, and the fact that it’s your interface with the environment, fascinates me,” he adds.

Packed with bones, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscle, the hand is one of the most anatomically intricate areas of the body. It’s also one of the most vulnerable to harm from everyday activities. Many of Dr. Bass’s patients see him for work-related injuries, while others come to him seeking care for old injuries that never properly healed.

For arthritis sufferers, Dr. Bass offers reconstructive surgery of the elbow, wrist, and hand, including joint replacement. He is also an expert in endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Because most operations on the hand and arm are performed through small incisions, they are naturally minimally invasive. Dr. Bass often uses microscopes during surgery to help ensure the most precise repairs. He also offers rehabilitative therapies for select patients who might benefit from them.

Dr. Bass and his hand fellowship-trained partner, orthopaedic surgeon Timothy Schacherer, M.D., work closely with certified hand therapists. These highly trained professionals help patients achieve excellent results after or instead of surgery.

Dr. Bass also is responsible for helping to train orthopaedic residents in the principles of hand and arm anatomy, diagnosis, and treatment. He conducts conferences, lectures, and dissections while teaching residents operative and bedside techniques.

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (1993-1994), Hand Surgery
  • Residency - University of Iowa (1988-1993), Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Medical School - UT Southwestern Medical School (1984-1988)
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Doctor, 2014-2019, 2021-2022
  • D Magazine Best Doctors in Collin County, 2011-2013, 2021
Books & Publications

Clinical Focus

  • Hand Surgery
  • Elbow Conditions
  • Hand & Wrist Conditions

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Q&A by Dr. Bass