History of the Institute

Institut de la Main : our story, since 1972

The Institut de la Main, a scientific, not for profit organization, was founded by Professor Raoul Tubiana in 1972. Under his direction, a team of surgeons and doctors focussed on the problems related to the treatment of medical and surgical lesions of the hand at the Clinique orthopédique et réparatrice de la Faculté de Médecine Cochin Port Royal and at the Clinique de Rhumatologie de Cochin, both located in Paris. 

In 1985, the Institut de la Main changed its name to ‘Institut Français de la Main’ (French Hand Institute), or IFM, and relocated to the Clinique Franklin (Paris, France). The four founding members of the Institut de la Main (Raoul Tubiana, Alain Gilbert, Regis Lisfranc, and Philippe Saffar) were soon joined by Caroline Leclercq, Alain Masquelet, Christophe Mathoulin, Eric Lenoble, Francesco Brunelli, Constantin Sokolow, and Christian Dumontier. As such, the Institut de la Main became the first center in Europe to be fully dedicated to hand and upper limb surgery. 

The early years of the Institut were a remarkable period during which annual symposiums contributed to its solid reputation, and numerous foreign physicians took part in the fellowship program and later became members of the Tubiana Club. The annual symposium of the Institut, which has been held yearly for the past 40 years, has become a major event for the scientific community. 

In 1995, the Institut was forced to relocate when Clinique Franklin shut down. While a few members decided to leave the organization, the majority of them moved to Clinique Jouvenet (Paris, France) and went back to the original name of ‘Institut de la Main’. 

Professor Gilbert then replaced Professor Tubiana as the head of the organization. At the time, the team was comprised of Alain Gilbert, Raoul Tubiana (who passed away in 2014), Caroline Leclercq, Christophe Mathoulin, Eric Lenoble, Francesco Brunelli, Philippe Valenti, Philippe Sauzières, Thierry Dubert, Dominique Leviet, Eric Roulot, Dominique Gazielly, Pascal Gaudin, Alexandre Kilinc, Mathilde Gras, and Anne Vidil. 

A number of renowned physicians were part of the Institut before taking up important positions elsewhere : Alain Masquelet and Thierry Bégué now hold professor positions in Bobigny, Christian Dumontier taught in Nice before relocating to Guadeloupe, and Dominique Gazielly practices at the Geneva CHU. 

On September 1st, 2016, the Institut de la Main relocated to Clinique Bizet (Paris, France). With this move, a few members left the group while new physicians strengthened its ranks. 

The current composition of the Institut de la Main is as follows :

Professor Alain Gilbert (Honorary President)

Doctor Caroline Leclercq (President)

Professor Christophe Mathoulin (Vice-President)

Doctor Philippe Valenti (Treasurer)

Doctor Mathilde Gras (Secretary)

Active members : Dr Anne Vidil, Dr Alain Iserin, Dr Choukry Dib, Dr Stéphane Guero, and Dr Ahlam Arnaout. 

Associate members : Dr Francesco Brunelli, Dr Lorenzo Merlini. 


The Institut de la Main is not limited to surgeons, as it also encompasses a number of physicians who are involved in treating hand problems : Daniel Goldberg (rheumatologist), Angèle Ropert (retired), and Corinne Becker (lymphatic surgery). In addition, the Institut has always benefited from the support of a team of specialized physiotherapists (currently with Didier Gallois, Fanny Carn, and Marie Akrich). 

From the SHOULDER, through the ELBOW, and the WRIST down to th HAND, all lesions of the upper limb can be treated at the Institut, whether traumatic (wounds, fractures, sports injuries), congenital (malformations), degenerative (arthritic, rheumatoid) or other (Dupuytren disease, tumours). In addition, the Institut specializes in the surgery of neurological problems of the upper limb (nerve compressions, brachial plexus palsy, tetraplegia, spasticity) and, to that effect, enlisted the support of a team of specialized neurologists, physiatrists and physiotherapists.

Institut de la main

In 20 years of existence, the INSTITUT DE LA MAIN has become one of the main hand and upper limb surgery centers in Europe. Its nine surgeons on staff can treat all hand and upper limb problems. 


Contact Us

Institut de la Main
Clinique Bizet
21 rue Georges Bizet
75016 PARIS

Front Desk : +331 84 13 04 56

Hand Emergencies : +331 84 131 131