My Locations

Duke Ambulatory Surgery Center
2400 Pratt St
Durham, NC 27710-3976
Duke Orthopaedics at Page Road
4709 Creekstone Dr
Suite 300
Durham, NC 27703-0016
Duke University Hospital
2301 Erwin Rd
Durham, NC 27710-4699
James R. Urbaniak, MD, Sports Sciences Institute
3475 Erwin Rd
Durham, NC 27705-0005

About Me

I am an orthopaedic surgeon who is the chief of hand surgery at Duke. Although we are referred to as “hand surgeons,” I treat many people with wrist and elbow conditions. Because the hand is so complex, patients who see me can have complaints that range from numbness and weakness to issues with range of motion. My grandfather, my grandmother, my mother and my father were all healthcare workers. I have wanted to be a surgeon since I watched M*A*S*H on the television as a child. I obtain great satisfaction from treating someone who has a very severe hand or arm injury, reconstructing the part and restoring its basic function. Duke has been the strongest hand surgery program in the country for the past 50 to 75 years. As chair of the program, I want patients to know that the best and the brightest providers are seeing them when they come to Duke.

School of Medicine Department School of Medicine Division Languages
English
Learn More About Me

Experience

Hand and upper extremity team

I am part of an orthopaedic hand and upper extremity team that is committed to diagnosing and treating hand pain and discomfort, including carpal tunnel syndrome, thumb arthritis, joint dislocations, nail-bed injuries, and trigger finger.

Surgeries Performed by the Hand and Upper Extremity Team

11,522

My surgical specialties
Wrist neuroplasty
Wrist neuroplasty
Wrist neuroplasty surgery decompresses a pinched nerve in the wrist, often caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.
Major musculoskeletal surgery
Major musculoskeletal surgery
Major musculoskeletal surgery includes amputation, grafting, bone shortening, bone removal, and other surgeries to repair or reconstruct bones after injury.
Forearm and wrist surgery
Forearm and wrist surgery
Forearm and wrist surgery relieves forearm and wrist pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, fractures, ganglion cysts, tendon injuries, tumors, arthritis, and cartilage tears.
Finger surgery
Finger surgery
Finger surgery includes trigger finger surgery and surgery to repair finger deformities.
Complex hand surgery
Complex hand surgery
Complex hand surgery includes finger amputation, finger fusion, tenolysis, tendon transplant, and other surgeries to repair, revise and reconstruct hands, fingers and wrists.
Arm fracture and dislocation surgery
Arm fracture and dislocation surgery
Arm fracture and dislocation surgery reduces and repairs arm dislocations with fractures.
Neuroplasty
Neuroplasty
Neuroplasty surgery decompresses a pinched nerve.

Note: All surgical experience data is from July 2014 through June 2018 and is calculated by individual Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes.

Procedures I perform the most

Note: All surgical experience data is from July 2014 through June 2018 and is calculated by individual Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes.

Training

Education
MD, Wake Forest University School of Medicine (North Carolina), 1988
Residency
Orthopaedic Surgery, Bowman Gray/Baptist Medical Center (North Carolina), 1988-1993
Fellowship
Hand, Microvascular, and Upper Extremity Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, 1993-1994
Board Certifications
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Hand Surge
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedics

Clinical Focus and Research

My Research Interests

I am widely published on a variety of research topics, including new treatments for wrist and elbow fractures. I am also very interested in the use of new technology, such as arthroscopy and the use of microscopes, to assist in surgical management of upper extremity problems. My ability to repair small blood vessels has led to an interest in using bone grafts to treat avascular necrosis of the hip in younger patients (a procedure that was developed at Duke).

Publications

View David Ruch's publications on PubMed

Ratings and Reviews

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to care provider related questions on our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Learn more about our survey process. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

Patient Reviews

Patient comments are gathered from our Press Ganey Patient Survey and displayed in their entirety.
Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy

Insurance

Duke Health contracts with most major health insurance carriers and transplant networks, including the ones listed below. Before scheduling your appointment, we strongly recommend you contact your insurance company to verify that the Duke Health location or provider you plan to visit is included in your network. Your insurance company will also be able to inform you of any co-payments, co–insurances, or deductibles that will be your responsibility. If you proceed in scheduling an appointment and your health insurance benefits do not participate with Duke, your out of pocket liability may be higher. We will contact you regarding your coverage and patient liability. If you are uninsured, learn more about our financial assistance policy.

  • Aetna
    • Aetna Choice POS, Aetna Choice POS II
    • Aetna Elect Choice HMO, Aetna Open Access Elect Choice
    • Aetna Health Network Only, Aetna Health Network Option
    • Aetna HMO
    • Aetna Limited Benefit Insurance PPO
    • Aetna Managed Choice POS
    • Aetna Medicare HMO Open Access
    • Aetna Medicare Plan (HMO, PPO)
    • Aetna Medicare Premier Plan (PPO)
    • Aetna Medicare Prime Plan (HMO, PPO)
    • Aetna Open Access HMO, Open Access Aetna Select, Aetna Open Access Select, Aetna Open Access Managed Choice
    • Aetna Open Choice PPO
    • Aetna PCP Coordinated POS Plan
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (QPOS)
    • Aetna Select HMO
    • Aetna Traditional Choice
    • Aetna Voluntary Indemnity Group Plan
    • Aetna Whole Health – Duke WakeMed WKCC
  • Ambetter
    • Ambetter of North Carolina
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
    • Blue Advantage
    • Blue Medicare (HMO, PPO)*
    • Blue Options (123, PPO, HSA)
    • Blue Select
    • NC State Employees Health Plan
    • *Duke HomeCare and Hospice does not participate in the plan.
  • CIGNA
    • Cigna Choice Plus
    • Cigna Open Access
    • Cigna Open Access Plus
  • Duke Group Plans
    • Duke Basic
    • Duke Select
  • Experience Health
    • Experience Health Medicare Advantage (HMO) Plan
  • First Health
  • Gateway Health Alliance
  • Gateway Health Plan
    • Gateway Health Medicare Assured Prime (HMO)
    • Gateway Health Medicare Assured Select (HMO)
  • Halifax Physician-Hospital Organization
  • Healthgram
  • Humana
    • Humana Choice (PPO)
    • Humana ChoiceCare (PPO)
    • Humana Gold Choice (PFFS)
    • Humana Gold Plus (HMO)
  • MedCost
  • Medicare
    • First Medicare Direct*
    • Medicare Part A
    • Medicare Part B
    • *This is for Wake County only.
  • MultiPlan / Private Healthcare Systems
  • NC Medicaid
    • NC Medicaid*
    • *Not all Duke locations and doctors participate in this plan. Please contact the location you will be visiting to determine what is accepted.
  • OneNet PPO
  • Optima Health
    • FAMIS*
    • Optima Family Care (Medicaid HMO in VA)*
    • Optima Individual & Family (On & Off Exchange Plans)
    • Optima Plus (PPO)
    • Optima Vantage (HMO)
    • *Duke Primary Care, Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, and Duke Raleigh Hospital are not participating with this plan.
  • TRICARE
    • TRICARE Prime*
    • TRICARE Prime Remote*
    • TRICARE Select*
    • *Duke Primary Care is considered an authorized, non-network participating provider.
  • United Healthcare
    • AARP Medicare Complete (HMO, PPO)*
    • AARP Medicare Complete Essential (HMO)*
    • All Savers Alternate Funding
    • All Savers Fully Insured
    • State Employee Health Plan (for retirees)
    • United Healthcare (HMO, PPO, POS)
    • United Healthcare Charter/Charter Balance/Charter Plus
    • United Healthcare Choice/Choice Plus
    • United Healthcare Core/Core Essential
    • United Healthcare Navigate/Navigate Plus/Navigate Balanced
    • United Healthcare of the River Valley
    • United Healthcare Option PPO
    • United Healthcare Options PPO with Harvard Pilgrim
    • United Healthcare Passport Connect Choice/Choice Plus
    • United Healthcare Passport Connect Options PPO
    • United Healthcare Select/Select Plus
    • United Medical Resources (UMR)
    • *Duke HomeCare and Hospice does not participate with the plan.

External Relationships

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported outside activities with the companies or institutions listed below. This information has been reported to the health system leadership and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts of interest.

  • Acumed