What is hand therapy?

Hand therapy encompasses both physiotherapy and occupational therapy. It is essential that any upper limb surgeon have access to a therapist experienced in rehabilitation of the hand, and I am fortunate that I work with an experienced team of hand therapists, both from physiotherapy and occupational therapy backgrounds.

Here are some examples of the kind of treatments that hand therapists can offer:

•Functional and occupational hand assessment

•Data collection on motion, strength and symptom severity

•Scar and pain management

•Oedema (swelling) control

•Splint design and application to modify activity / for post operative protection and comfort

•Specific targeted exercises to maximize movement and limit stiffness

•Nerve injury assessment and desensitisation

•Sports injury rehabilitation

•Practical advice on returning to work and on activities of daily living

•Managing disability, whilst maintaining and maximising remaining abilities

•Advice on fatigue management and energy conservation

Why is it important?

The importance of good hand therapy, after any form of hand & wrist surgery, cannot be over emphasized. Good outcomes from injuries or from surgery are directly related to patient motivation and the quality of the rehabilitation regime.

Do I need to see a hand therapist?

Not all hand injuries or disorders necessarily require an assessment by a hand therapist, and I will advise you on whether it will be in your interest to do so. Generally, anything other than the most minor hand or wrist operation will benefit from a visit to a hand therapist for care and advice with issues such as swelling control, scar management, exercises and practical advice. More major injuries or operations often require a custom made splint.