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

  • Hope Orthopedic is truly the best. I have had several surgeries over the years on both of my knees with positive results. The staff are always kind and friendly and eager to help. Willamette Surgery is amazing and clean and staff again are great. This is a great alternative to staying in a hospital and allows you to recover in... read more - Al B. - 6/28/2022 

  • Everyone I have met or spoken to at Hope had been wonderful. They are professional, courteous, caring and friendly. Dr. Karlen is very personable and easy to get along with. He took the time to get to know me and my personal situation, to explain thoroughly and clearly what was happening and what to expect. From my experience, I can... read more - Doug H. - 6/08/2022 

  • Great doc [Dr. Karlen]! Very personable and professional - Richard A. - 6/06/2022 

  • Dr Karlen has always been compassionate and caring. Always gives me options for what can be done but never pushes me towards any decision. He is great at giving me all the facts, then let's me decide what is right for me. I appreciate that he gives me credit for knowing my body and what I know I can handle. - Linda A. - 5/03/2022 

  • Dr. Karlen is everything a doctor should be: courteous, amiable, humorous and, most of all, caring. He'll explain conditions and treatments in a way which a layman would understand and is conservative in his recommendations. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to any friends or family. - Bruce G. - 4/08/2022 

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.