Dr. McCarthy, MD, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with a fellowship in Hand and Upper Extremity and a certificate of added qualification (CAQ) in Hand, Wrist and Elbow Surgery. She specializes in surgery of the hand and upper extremity, with procedures including tendon and nerve repairs, basal thumb joint replacement and rheumatoid hand reconstructions. She also treats fractures, nerve and tendon conditions, and arthritis of the wrist and fingers.
Dr. McCarthy has been performing the endoscopic carpal tunnel release (ECTR) since its inception in the early 1990s and was part of the development team that brought the procedure to the Twin Cities. She has continued to play a key role in educating other physicians on the procedure. The ECTR is the most common surgery she performs, with more than three thousand procedures completed.
Until a few years ago, the options for treating Dupuytren’s contractures of the hand were limited. However, the development of Xiaflex®, an enzymatic injection, means that the condition can be treated nonsurgically. Dr. McCarthy is a preferred provider and a “Super User” for Xiaflex® injections.
Dr. McCarthy has been selected as a Top Doctor in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine by her peers for the past 10 years in a row. She was also named one of Minnesota Monthly Magazine’s Best Doctors for Women in 2008 and 2010. Her goal is to listen carefully to each patient’s concerns and develop a plan with the patient to resume the activities that he or she finds most meaningful.
In addition to other professional affiliations, Dr. McCarthy is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. She has been practicing in the Twin Cities since 1996.
“Growing up as a dancer and a runner in Scranton, Pennsylvania, I understand the importance of working out. I continue to be active, swimming and doing Pilates several times a week and biking and Nordic skiing when I am at my cabin up north. My goal is to get you back to those things you love to do, whether it’s fishing, weight-lifting, playing tennis, or any other activity that involves your hands.”
Elbow Care, including Ulnar Nerve Transpositions
Hand Care, including Arthritis, CMC Arthroplasties (Replacement of the Basal Thumb Joint), Nerve Injuries, Rheumatoid Conditions, Trauma and Xiaflex® Injections
Wrist Care, including Arthritis, Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Releases and Closed and Open Treatment of Wrist Fractures
Board Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Subspecialty Certification in Hand Surgery
Orthopedic Research Fellowship in Bone Density at the University of Massachusetts
Hand and Upper-Extremity Fellowship at the University of Minnesota
University of Massachusetts
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Hospital & Surgery Center Affiliations
Crosstown Surgery Center
Fairview Southdale Hospital
Fairview Ridges Hospital Courtesy Staff
Fairview University Hospital Courtesy Staff
American Society for Surgery of the Hand
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Minnesota Orthopaedic Society
Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society
Achievements & Awards
Best Doctor for Women: Minnesota Monthly Magazine (2008, 2010)
Best Doctor: Minnesota Monthly Magazine (2014, 2015)
Top Doctor: Minnesota Monthly Magazine (2020)
Top Doctor: Voted a top orthopedic surgeon by her peers in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine (2006, 2007, 2009 – 2021)
I can’t believe I was hesitant! The fusion of the MP join on my right thumb as made all the difference in the world to me. The pain of recovery from surgery was nothing compared to the pain in my thumb for years prior to the procedure. Getting used to the fusion wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had feared. In fact, it was quite easy. If you are presented with joint fusion as an option, I strongly recommend Dr. Clare McCarthy. She and her team are compassionate professionals, who walk you through the entire process with your best interest put first. I can’t imagine a better team to trust! Simply put, they rock!
April 27, 2021
I fractured my dominant hand while skiing. I was very concerned if I would be able to play piano again and return to work soon. After surgery with Dr. McCarthy, I was back to work within five days and was playing piano within seven days. Each and every day I was able to see progress in my range of motion and functional activities. Due to the combination of a skilled surgeon, excellent pain management by the anesthesiologist and occupational therapist, I have full function in my wrist.
December 16, 2020
I have had Dupuytren’s contracture of my right hand for many years. It was painful and made it very difficult to use my right hand. I had a Xiaflex injection by Dr. McCarthy and am amazed at the results. I can put my had flat on the table now and have much more mobility. I highly recommend this procedure and Dr. McCarthy!
November 23, 2020
I have had Dupuytren’s contracture for quite a while and decided it was time to take care of it. After Dr. McCarthy explained the procedure, I said “let’s do it, it’s time.” I came in on a Tuesday, she injected my finger, and I returned on Thursday for manipulation. Both went very smoothly with very minimal pain in either procedure. I had a splint immediately after manipulation and some swelling, but still, very little pain. After one week, my finger was straight! Dr. McCarthy made the whole process go very well. I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long. I would highly recommend her to anyone suffering from Dupuytren’s contracture.
November 19, 2020
Dr. McCarthy was informative and with her knowledge and great skill, my hand is back to working and looking normal. From one meeting on a tele-med-call to manipulation and splinting, her and the staff have been top notch and second to none. I would encourage anyone to reach out and use the services at TCO. This one one of the best choices I’ve made.
October 20, 2020
I have lived with Dupuytren’s contractures in both of my hands for many years. It got to the point where putting on gloves or reaching into tight spaces became difficult because my fingers were pulled toward the palm of my hands. I researched online and the surgery to repair my hands looked gruesome with a long recovery. I then heard about Xiaflex injections, which could be given without cutting into my hands. So I researched doctors and found Dr. McCarthy had done the Xiaflex treatments many times with great results. I’m very happy with her care and expertise. My hands feel great now. I would recommend Dr. McCarthy to anyone considering correcting their Dupuytren’s contracture.
April 6, 2019
I am an avid golfer. I am not saying that I am good (so don’t look for me on the LPGA tour) but I love the game!! I noticed my hands in particular my thumb (carpometacarpal) joints started to bother me. Hanging onto my driver to hit my ball would cause intense pain in my CMC joints. Usually by the tenth hole, I could no longer grip my clubs to achieve the results I wanted. Besides golf issues, turning door knobs or opening jars became painful as well. I met Dr. McCarthy years before when she fixed my wrist fracture, so I decided to see her for the thumb joint issues. She did cortisone injections and prescribed splints.
Finally we reached the point where surgery would be the only option. I had carpometacarpal arthroplasty on my left thumb joint. The results where fabulous. No longer did I have pain in my left hand but the right one also got some relief and no longer needed surgery. When I say the results where fabulous, it’s an understatement. I went back to golfing and scored my first hole-in-one, which I won’t contribute to my golfing skills but will give credit to Dr. McCarthy. I scored my second hole-in-one the next year!!
March 8, 2019
I am writing this short story about my suffering with different kinds of pain in my hand and wrist and my unbelievable recovery process. For many years I have had pain in my wrist for the type of work I performed with the use of my hands. Back in February of 2015, I discussed this problem with my personal physician and he had me do different exercises and wear a hand brace. The pain was not going away so I made an appointment in December to see Dr. Clare McCarthy at Twin Cities Orthopedics. From that day forward we came up with a plan of action to regulate the treatment of the pain in my hand and wrist.
After taking an X-ray of both of my wrists and showing me the problem areas that were causing some of the pain, we decided the first step is to perform Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel on both wrists. My left wrist surgery was scheduled for January 15, 2016 and the right one on February 5, 2016. Both surgeries and recoveries were a success There is no numbness, stiffness, and pain in my fingers. I have full control on my motion and straight in both wrists. The second step to recovery was to get control over the arthritic pain on the lower part of my thumbs. This was caused from repetitive use of my hand in the type of work I performed in the past. Pain typically occured during/after gripping and pinching activities; such as turning doorknobs, buttoning clothes, tying shoes, loosening a jar lid and so on. After going through different medication, hand splints, and cortisone injections, my thumbs got worse. The treatments were no longer working or providing me with relief.
Dr. Clare McCarthy, her PA Claire Joubert, and I discussed the next solution. We all agreed on Thumb CMC (carpal-metacarpal) Joint Osteoarthritis and CMC Excisional Arthroplasty with Fascia Lata Graf, which means removing the arthritic bone (trapezium) and replacing it with a soft tissue graft. On February 27, 2019, Dr. Clare McCarthy and her PA, Claire Joubert, performed the above surgery to my right hand. Clair Joubert, PA did the closing, which was absolutely perfect. After surgery, the ecovery was long. I was in a cast for 4 weeks to prevent me from pinching. After getting the cast removed I started thumb and wrist exercises to strengthen hand. My PT for 3 weeks was Kimberly McClintick and she was great. My theory behind getting my strength back was no pain, no gain. I have been doing very well without any pain and will be playing my first game of golf since the surgery on May 4th!!
In closing here are a couple of statements that my father told me: No matter who you are, no matter where you come from you are beautiful. I believe there’s an inner power that makes winners. The winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts. This is what I think of the people that helped me through this ordeal. Thank you all!
May 4, 2018
I have been coming to TCO for my care and surgeries since 2001 and in addition, my ex-husband came here for 12 surgeries with various doctors. Dealing with different doctors and their respective care teams has made me appreciate Dr. McCarthy and her care team. Claire, her PA, Bonnie and Sue (hand therapists) and her care coordinator Susan are all fabulous! Susan is by far the best care coordinator I have worked with. Even though there are clinics closer to me, I choose to come to the TCO Edina clinic because of Dr. McCarthy and her team. I have referred many of my fellow colleagues and friends to Dr. McCarthy. I have even referred a stranger to her! If Dr. McCarthy is ever running behind, I tell people – wait, she is worth it! I am very, very happy with the care I have received here at TCO. I want to thank Dr. McCarthy and TCO for the great care they have given me.
November 6, 2017
I had an amazing experience at TCO! Dr. McCarthy went above and beyond by operating intricately around my tattoo with precision and perfection leading to a fantastic result!
Thanks TCO and Dr. McCarthy for everything! I will always refer others here!
April 17, 2017
Prior to seeing Dr. McCarthy I had been in pain in both my wrists and elbows for approximately 4 years and had seen six other physicians. I was diagnosed with a number of different ailments, given several prescriptions, and was also told there was nothing wrong with me. Dr. McCarthy found the cause of the pain I was experiencing in my first visit. Surgery was scheduled for one elbow/wrist and six weeks later the other elbow/wrist. I have since been pain free and I can’t thank her enough.
November 30, 2016
My wife and I both had surgeries by Dr. McCarthy and we highly recommend her.
I saw Peter for surgery and post-op. Knowing he is a “Santa” around the holidays, I was happy to be able to take care of his finger’s before his big day.
– Dr. McCarthy
May 20, 2016
Dr. McCarthy was quick to see my injury and even quicker to get me into surgery. Next day! Aftercare has been awesome. She removed my pin and I started physical therapy the same day. Sarah Wilcox has been great with my therapy. Overall this has been a great outcome from a work accident. Thank you Dr. McCarthy!
April 18, 2016
Due to a childhood disease (polio) I had developed 2 fingers where the middle joints would no longer bend, causing a loss of grip. Dr. McCarthy said she could help by fusing these joints in a bent position, so surgery was scheduled and performed.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. McCarthy and the entire staff at TCO, including Sue Anderson, in therapy. The entire process was exceptional in every way and the folks involved couldn’t have been more accommodating. Great job guys!
March 31, 2016
I am extremely pleased with the care I have received from Dr. McCarthy and all the assisting staff members. They were professional and kind and the procedure went very well. Thank you very much for the excellent care!
July 7, 2015
Dr. McCarthy fixed my hands, elbows and thumb to head to Lake of the Woods! I was able to tie all of my knots and flies. Thank you!
June 24, 2015
Thanks to Dr. McCarthy for successful surgery on my right hand. I had experienced deformity, with pain and loss of function, as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. I look forward to the completion of hand therapy and being able to use my hand fully again.
June 4, 2015
I’ve had the surgical procedure and a shot to release my Dupuytren’s symptoms in my hand by Dr. McCarthy. The shot was far less intrusive, both as an initial procedure and includes post-op therapy. The results are as good, if not better, than the surgery. I strongly recommend the shot.
April 8, 2015
I have had four (4) surgeries with Dr. McCarthy. My experiences have all been good at TCO. Because of the number of surgeries done by Dr. McCarthy, I am now President of her fan club. She is the consummate professional and takes an interest in her patients. I am truly blessed to have her as one of my physicians.
April 8, 2015
My Xiaflex procedure and experience with Dr. McCarthy was great. It was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated it being. Dr. McCarthy did a superb job.
October 11, 2012
Before his surgery with Clare McCarthy, MD (pictured on right), Shawn (pictured in middle) had suffered from severe pain in his right wrist and also had trouble with his left thumb for over 20 years. “I couldn’t sleep at night and it was affecting my quality of life,” he said. As an avid outdoorsman, it was also preventing him from doing the things he enjoyed. “I met with Dr. McCarthy and her confidence in the procedures she was going to perform won me over,” he said. Shawn described the care he received after surgery from Dr. McCarthy and Claire Joubert, PA-C (pictured on left) as outstanding and is now pain free in for the first time in over 20 years. “It is truly amazing the work that was performed and the outcome is more than I could have imagined. I can’t thank Dr. McCarthy and Claire Joubert enough for the wonderful work they did on me and their care and professionalism truly makes me glad that I was in their care,” he said.