Dr. Aaron Karlen

Dr. Karlen specializes in the following:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery
  • Trigger Finger
  • Thumb and Finger Arthritis
  • Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Tendon Injuries
  • Hand Fractures
  • Wrist Fractures

  4.9 out of 5

  • Easy to talk to and [Dr. Karlen] listened! Very proactive, intelligent and kind. What more can you ask for? - Janice G. - 11/30/2022 

  • Fantastic and efficient experience for my sons hand that required surgery from a football injury. We started with Dr. Mitchell, who got us in to Dr Karlen. What I appreciated the most was that both doctors listened to my son and understood his feelings towards being able to finish his senior year football season. I wish that we had been... read more - Julia H. - 11/30/2022 

  • Always friendly and Dr Karlen spends time with you. - Mary R. - 11/30/2022 

  • Very professional [Dr. Karlen]. - John D. - 11/30/2022 

  • Thank you for making our experience a good one despite the reason for our visit. Dr. Ryan was so sweet and caring to our son and the staff was friendly! Also, the man that put the plaster cast on our son's arm was AWESOME with him!! Thank you to Dr. Karlen for taking great care with our son and keeping... read more - Ashley M. - 11/07/2022 

Growing up in Seattle and Hawaii, Dr. Karlen attended high school in Hawaii and college at the University of Washington, with a year in Scotland where he graduated with a BA and BS.

He then returned to Hawaii for law school and graduated with his JD, summa cum laude. From there he continued on to medical school in Hawaii and graduated with his MD and membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society - where he received honors for every grade and was tied with two other classmates for best marks possible.

Dr. Karlen completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and then his plastics and orthopedic surgery hand fellowship at Baylor in Houston.

Dr. Karlen's wife is from Keizer and is an alumni of McNary High School and  Linfield University. She is an emergency medicine physician at Salem Hospital. Together, Dr. Karlen and his wife have two children, a Lab Retriever named Kai, and  two rescue cats (Mochi and Koa).

Dr. Karlen's hobbies include hiking, camping, and sports (especially soccer and baseball).


  • Undergraduate: University of Washington
  • Graduate: University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Medical School: University of Hawaii at Manoa, John A. Burns School of Medicine

Medical Education

  • Residency: University of Minnesota
  • Fellowship: Baylor College of Medicine Integrated Plastic/Orthopaedic Hand Surgery

Board Certification

  • American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
  • Surgery of the Hand Subspecialty

Professional Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Honors and Awards

  • 2012 - Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society
  • 2008 - Salutatorian of Law School Class
  • 2007 - Hiroaki Kono Foundation Scholarship for Academic Excellence


  • Karlen AI, Clark JJ, Wong LL: Two cases of partial hepatectomy for malignant melanoma. Hawaii J Med Public Health; 2012 Apr;71(4):92-6
  • Karlen AI, Solberg EJ, Quanbeck DS, Van Heest AE: Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Rotations and Correlation with Orthopaedic In-Training Examination Performance. J Surg Educ; 2018 Feb; epub ahead of print.