James F. Watt, D.O.

Photo: James F. Watt, D.O.

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  • Physician Assistant

    Lauren E. Flowers, P.A.-C.
Fellowship-Trained and Board-Certified Hand, Wrist, Elbow, and Shoulder Surgeon

Fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. James Watt specializes in hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder surgery and is also a sports medicine, arthroscopy, and general orthopaedic expert. He joined Orthopaedic Associates in September 2012.

Dr. Watt received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Des Moines University in Des Moines, Iowa. He then completed an orthopaedic surgery internship and residency at Ohio University in Columbus, Ohio. After his residency, Dr. Watt received additional subspecialty training through a hand and upper extremity fellowship at the Florida Orthopaedic Institute in Tampa, Florida.

Highly skilled in advanced treatments for the upper extremity, Dr. Watt specializes in both surgical and nonsurgical advanced treatment techniques. He is also the only fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon in the area who offers total shoulder replacement on an outpatient basis at Surgical Specialists, ASC.

Among other treatment approaches, Dr. Watt specializes in performing:

  • Mini-open carpal tunnel release
  • Carpal tunnel release using Sonex Health UltraGuideCTR and real-time ultrasound guidance
  • Large and small joint replacement of the upper extremity
  • Shoulder, elbow, and wrist arthroscopy
  • Tendon transfers, repairs, and reconstruction surgeries, fractures of the upper extremity
  • Primary anatomic total shoulder replacement
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement
  • XIAFLEX® and steroid injections
  • Splinting

Dr. Watt diagnoses and treats a wide array of hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder injuries and conditions, including but not limited to:

  • AC (acromioclavicular) joint arthritis
  • Basal joint osteoarthritis
  • Biceps tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Dislocations of the shoulder, elbow, and hand
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Elbow pain
  • Elbow trauma
  • Fractures of the hand, fingers, shoulder blade
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Hand pain
  • Hand trauma
  • Hyperextension of the elbow
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
  • SLAP tears
  • Rheumatoid arthritis of the hand
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder pain
  • Shoulder trauma
  • Sprains and strains of the upper extremity
  • Throwing injuries
  • Trauma to the hand
  • Wrist pain
  • Wrist trauma

When Dr. Watt is not seeing patients, he enjoys running, cycling, spending time on the water, and spending time with his wife and kids. He also enjoys serving as team doctor for South Walton High School.

Dr. Watt is available to see patients at our locations in Crestview, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Niceville.



    • Bachelor of Arts in Biology/Biomedical: University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA, 2002
    • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine: Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA, 2006

    Surgical Training

    • Orthopaedic Surgery Internship: Ohio University, Columbus, OH, 2006 – 2007
    • Orthopaedic Surgery Residency: Ohio University, Columbus, OH,  2007 – 2011
    • Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship: Florida Orthopaedic Institute, Tampa, FL 2011 – 2012

    Surgical Interests

    • Arthritis and Joint Replacement Surgery
    • Minimally Invasive Surgery
    • Arthroscopic Surgery
    • Deformity Correction
    • Osteoporosis
    • Sports Medicine
    • Trauma/Fractures
    • Tendon Transfers
    • Tenex (Minimally Invasive Tendon Treatment)
    • Congenital Deformity
    • Pediatric Orthopaedics

    Professional Affiliations

    • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
    • American Association for Hand Surgery
    • American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics
    • American Osteopathic Association
    • Florida Medical Association
    • Florida Orthopaedic Society
    • Emerald Coast Health Alliance
    • Fort Walton Beach, Destin, and Niceville Chambers of Commerce
    • American Society for Surgery of the Hand
    • Board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and fellowship-trained upper extremity specialist Dr. James Watt was recently featured in a news article by Sonex Health for his work and dedication in the field of ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release.

      The Institute of Advanced Ultrasound Guided Procedures has named Dr. Watt a national Center of Excellence Physician for his dedication to attaining the best outcomes for his patients. 

    • Dr. James Watt, a fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity specialist, is one of a few surgeons involved in a nationwide carpal tunnel study. He believes it is going to change the way carpal tunnel syndrome is being treated across the world.

      Orthopaedic Associates is actively looking for participants to be involved in the clinical study. Those who get involved and share feedback at six different points post-surgery will be paid $300.

    • Orthopaedic Associates has enrolled its first patient in the Trial of Ultrasound Guided Carpal Tunnel Release (CTR) Versus Traditional Open Release (TUTOR) — the first multicenter randomized controlled trial in the United States to compare the efficacy and safety of traditional mini-open carpal tunnel release (mOCTR) and carpal tunnel release using the FDA-cleared UltraGuideCTR and real-time ultrasound guidance. Orthopaedic Associates is one of nine orthopaedic hand surgery sites participating in the study.

    • Orthopaedic Associates — the region’s most preferred orthopaedic practice — is the first in the region to offer carpal tunnel release using the UltraGuideCTR device with ultrasound guidance. UltraGuideCTR is designed to provide a rapid recovery for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

    • As the orthopaedic providers in the region, the doctors and staff at Orthopaedic Associates have proudly provided orthopaedic care for our athletic community and their fans since 1988. As members of this community, where we live and raise our own families, we have dedicated our time, resources, and expertise to support all athletes in this region.