Physician Profile: Dr. Michael Stowell

Published August 16, 2017

Our goal in everything that we do as The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics is to provide the best possible orthopaedic care in each of the communities we serve. This is a value shared by all of our providers at every care center across the region in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

On July 25, we introduced you to Dr. Thomas Amalfitano, a new sports medicine physician with the Center for Joint Surgery and Sports Medicine care center. Today, we are proud to introduce you to his colleague, Dr. Michael T. Stowell, a hand and upper extremity surgeon, also practicing at the Center for Joint Surgery and Sports Medicine care center. Be sure to keep an eye out in the coming weeks for an additional interview with Dr. Richard Milford, who also recently joined the care center.

Here’s what we learned about Dr. Stowell:

What has been your experience with The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics thus far?

It has been a very positive experience working with The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics, and I’m very happy with the transition. I couldn’t ask for a better group of physicians to work with.

What drew you to private practice versus hospital employment?

When I started my career, most physicians went in the direction of private practice care. Throughout my career, I’ve been happy with my ability to make independent medical decisions on behalf of my patients, which I don’t feel I could have achieved through hospital employment. I’ve always been happy with this independence and never gave much thought to hospital-based practice. 

Why did you choose to specialize in hand and upper extremity surgery?

After my residency, I practiced general orthopaedic surgery for a few years, but learned that I had an interest in hand surgery. I went on to complete a fellowship in hand surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As time has passed, many hand surgeons began treating the elbow and shoulder, and I followed suit to work with elbow and shoulder patients in addition to my focus on hand surgery. I do also continue to practice general orthopaedics as well.

What are some of the most common injuries and conditions that you treat?

I generally see patients for a wide spectrum of issues. I treat nearly everything in the realm of hand surgery, so I can accommodate most hand patients. When it comes to the shoulder, I frequently treat rotator cuff tears and a good number of shoulder replacements. The most common condition we see around the elbow is tennis elbow, but there are many other elbow issues that we care for, too.

Also, my colleagues and I cover the Meritus Medical Center, which is a level three trauma center in the community. I’m comfortable treating fractures in the hand, elbow and shoulder, as well as in the lower extremity as needed in that role.

Do you have any special interests in hand surgery?

I find treating arthritic conditions of the hand to be particularly gratifying. There are a number of treatments for arthritis, including selective joint replacements within the hand. There are many different implants and procedures for each individual joint that are carefully considered for arthritis patients. Selective joint replacements in the hand are not as common as major joint replacements like knee and shoulder, but are often quite successful for these patients. I also perform procedures for patients with wrist arthritis, which can afford them some degree of wrist motion.

What made you choose to pursue orthopaedics versus another medical specialty?

In medical school, I was initially considering family practice. However, when I rotated through orthopaedics, I found the mechanical aspect of orthopaedics to be very intriguing. I fell in love with the field in medical school and switched tracks to pursue orthopaedics.

Is there anything else about your career that stands out to you?

I did my training through the military and spent 10 years in the Army, so I have an appreciation for the military and ex-military folks that I treat. While I don’t treat veterans as often as I used to, I have a special place in my heart for these patients.

What are your interests outside of work?

I enjoy canoeing and spending time outdoors.

Dr. Michael T. Stowell attended medical school at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and completed his orthopaedic residency at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco. After two years of general orthopaedics, he completed a fellowship in hand surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he finished his military commitment as a member of the teaching staff. He holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Surgery of the Hand.