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Dr. Dolf Ichtertz of the Nebraska Hand and Shoulder Institute

About The Doctor


Dr. Ichtertz's family originated in Blue Hill, Nebraska and ultimately ended up in Illinois. Dr. Ichtertz spent his childhood through college age in southern California and attended the University of Southern California (USC), graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Biological Science. He then attended Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) the anchor for the Texas Medical Center - the largest medical center in the world. According to US News and World Report, BCM has been among the nation's top 20 medical schools since 1994.

After graduating from medical school, Dr. Ichtertz completed his orthopaedic residency at the University of California, San Francisco. UCSF is northern California's premier tertiary care center for the most sickly and unique. At UCSF, Dr. Ichtertz spent rotations with numerous experts in each of the subspecialties of orthopaedics. The UCSF Dept. of Orthopaedics is especially strong in total joint replacement- William Murray, MD, former chairman, was the first to use polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in California having brought it from Canada before it was readily available.

In fact, UCSF staffed the two largest county hospitals in northern California in Oakland and San Francisco. With the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe nearby and a huge population to draw from, this provided an excellent learning experience. During his residency, Dr. Ichtertz conducted clinical research on anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries as well as x-ray techniques in the evaluation of knee arthritis. He won awards in competition for the presentation in each of these areas.

He also did research leading to publication revolutionizing ankle fracture management. His research proved that casts are not necessary after operative stabilization of fractured ankles. Thus, Dr. Ichtertz's ankle fracture patients consistently out-perform patients treated by his contemporaries not following the results of the research.

After residency Dr. Ichtertz completed an upper extremity fellowship at Loma Linda University Medical Center under the tutelage of five skilled hand surgeons. Virgil Wood, M.D., former chief of the hand division, is a renowned pediatric hand surgeon and thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) researcher. With Dr. Wood, Dr. Ichtertz published a landmark research study on reconstruction of the rheumatoid hand in the Journal of Hand Surgery. This was presented by Dr. Ichtertz at the American Hand Society meeting in 1987 and by Dr. Wood internationally. The treatment protocol proved that rheumatoid hand deformity could be corrected and the need for small joint replacement for the hand could be prevented. 

Dr. Ichtertz has been practicing orthopaedics and hand surgery with emphasis on peripheral nerve entrapment of the hands and feet and rotator cuff problems of the shoulder since 1987. Dr. Ichtertz is American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) certified in orthopaedics and has earned his Certificate of Added Qualifications in Surgery of the Hand (CAQ Hand). This is now known as the Special Certificate in Surgery of the Hand.

Dr. Ichtertz's goal is to help people feel youthful and productive by preventing and eliminating painful or debilitating musculoskeletal conditions. Dr. Ichtertz has been innovative in developing better techniques for clinical diagnosis and treatment protocols. He holds the national record when compared to English medical literature for getting patients to return to work most promptly, keeping them on the job and maintaining the best outcome. He is among the few (less than 1 in 4 groups and even less in solo practice) orthopaedic surgeons who conduct ongoing outcome studies. For an outcome study there is careful scrutiny applied to each patient after they reach maximum healing. This ensures optimal results and continued improvement in the diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Ichtertz was among the first to adopt endoscopic carpal tunnel release. Dr. Ichtertz has been offering endoscopic carpal tunnel release for over 20 years with excellent results in a steadily growing patient base. For the past three years Dr. Ichtertz has also been offering an endoscopically-assisted cubital tunnel procedure. 

Dr. Ichtertz is among the few specialists and even fewer orthopaedists/hand surgeons to understand and be able to interpret nerve conduction study and EMG. This understanding is necessary in the proper diagnosis and treatment of entrapment neuropathy such as carpal and cubital tunnel syndrome, the most common neuropathies. 

In his spare time Dr. Ichtertz enjoys flower gardening, culinary adventures with his wife (a native Nebraskan), trying to improve his photography skills, and skiing. He is also a certified SCUBA diver and sailboarder.

About The Business

Nebraska Hand & Shoulder Institute was founded in 1998, a year and a half after Dr. Ichtertz came to Nebraska. For a few years he was attending clinics in places such as Ainsworth (170 miles from Grand Island), Bassett, O'Neill, Neligh, Genoa, Albion, Columbus and Central City. Too much time on the road and not enough time to take care of the patients and tend to family duties led to paring down the practice and changing a few locations. The main office is located in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Nebraskans seem to be best served via easily accessed offices along I-80. Thus, in 1999 Dr. Ichtertz added a clinic in Lincoln; in 2000 he added a clinic in North Platte; and in 2006 he added a clinic in Omaha. In 2012 the Nebraska Hand & Shoulder Institute, already firmly established in Lincoln, bought their own office space at Plaza Mall South in order to provide better and more consistent service to patients.

About The Staff

The staff members are carefully screened to ensure adequate education and expertise. A graphic artist, three medical billers, an undergraduate biochemist, nerve conduction study technicians, a licensed practical nurse and an x-ray technician are staffed at Nebraska Hand & Shoulder Institute. 

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