BIOGRAPHYKathleen E. McKeon, MD is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in hand and wrist surgery. A large majority of Dr. McKeon's time is dedicated to sports injuries, fracture care, nerve surgery, joint reconstruction and microsurgery.
Dr. McKeon has also received the Subspecialty Certificate in Orthopaedic Surgery of the Hand, which is for board-certified orththopaedic surgeons who have demonstrated qualifications in hand surgery beyond those expected of other orthopaedic surgeons by virtue of additional training and a practice characterized by volume and diversity of cases in hand surgery or have made significant contributions to this field.
In her five years at Andrews Sports Medicine, Dr. McKeon has received numerous accolades, including: Top Women in Medicine (B-Metro Magazine, 2018 & 2017), Rising Stars in Health Care (2016-Birmingham Business Journal). In addition, Dr. McKeon has been recognized by her colleagues as one of Birmingham's Top Doctors in two categories: Hand Surgeon and Hand Surgeon-Pediatrics (from 2015-2018). The peer-review survey was completed by Birmingham-area physicians asking whom they would recommend, other than themselves, if in need of professional care or advice.
As a hand specialist, Dr. McKeon treats carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, arthritis, finger/hand/wrist fractures, nail bed injuries, nerve lacerations, soft tissue injuries, Dupuytrens contracture and ganglion cysts to name just a few. She serves as the team physician for Bessemer Academy.
Dr. McKeon's research interests include sports-related injuries of the hand and wrist. She has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles, review articles and book chapters over the past several years. She's also given poster and podium presentations at several national meetings. She was a recipient of the Resident Research Award at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013 as well as a Leonard Goldner Award semi-finalist at the AOFAS meeting in 2011.
Dr. McKeon earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, graduating with honors. While at Yale, she was a four-year varsity letterman in springboard and platform diving. Following graduation, she earned her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, finishing with Alpha Omega Alpha honors for academic achievement. She completed a residency in orthopaedic survey at Washington University in St. Louis and a fellowship in hand surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Dr. McKeon says she chose to specialize in hands because they are vital for performing everyday tasks both at home and at work. "Being able to restore function to patients' hands and give them back their ability to work, care for their families and do the activities that they enjoy is immensely rewarding."
Born in Birmingham, Dr. McKeon's family moved to Atlanta when she was 2-years-old. Dr. McKeon enjoys cooking, jogging, and spending time with friends and family, especially her husband, Nick, 6-year-old twins, Finn and Chloe, and a 2-year-old son, Will.
Education, Training & Awards ...
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee)
Hand Surgery Fellow in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Graduated - July, 2014
Orthopaedic Surgery Residency:
Washington University in Saint Louis/Barnes-Jewish Hospital (Saint Louis, MO)
Resident in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Graduated - June, 2013
Subspecialty Certificate in Orthopaedic Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand)
Yale University (New Haven, CT)
Graduated - May 2004 (BA, History of Medicine; cum laude, with honors)
Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine (Saint Louis, MO)
Graduated - May, 2008 (MD)
HONORS & AWARDS
- SEC Orthopaedic Team of the Year (2020 - University of Alabama Athletics)
- Top Doctor - Hand Surgeon (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015)
- Top Doctor - Hand Surgeon-Pediatrics (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015)
- Top Women In Medicine - B-Metro Magazine (2018, 2017)
- Rising Stars of Health Care - Birmingham Business Journal (2016)
- Resident Research Award (Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University in St Louis, 2013)
- ASSH/AFSH 2012 Annual Meeting Scholarship winner to attend the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and 30th Adrian E. Flatt Residents and Fellows Conference
- Leonard Goldner Award Finalist for best basic science paper, AOFAS annual meeting 2011, for "Vascular supply to the ankle syndesmosis."
- Leonard Goldner Award Finalist for best basic science paper, AOFAS annual meeting 2011, for "The intraosseous and extraosseous arterial anatomy of the adult navicular."
- Alpha Omega Alpha (Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine, 2008)
- Glasgow-Rubin Citation for Academic Achievement (Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine, 2008)
- Four-year varsity letterman; springboard and platform diving (Yale University, 2000-2004)
Kara Smola, PA-C
Kara Smola, PA-C grew up in Hueytown, AL and graduated with a Bachelor's in Biomedical Sciences (with honors) from Auburn University. She then moved to Mobile, AL for PA School at the University of South Alabama to complete the Physician Assistant program, graduating with a Master's degree in Health Sciences. She is Board Certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). As a Physician Assistant, Kara works collaboratively with Dr. Kathleen McKeon in hand and wrist surgery. Her skills are utilized in a clinical setting as a provider and in the operating room as a surgical assistant in surgeries that include fracture care, sports injuries, nerve repairs, joint reconstruction and microsurgery.