Hand Therapy Watertown & Oswego, NY

Hand Therapy

For optimal functional recovery, skilled hand therapy services are essential after many hand surgical procedures. A thorough understanding of hand surgery and the biology of healing render hand therapists experts in hand post op care. We routinely communicate closely with referring surgeons for comprehensive care.

We focus upon controlling pain, reducing swelling, managing scar, initiating joint range of motion as appropriate and empowering patient with a home exercise program. We upgrade program as healing progresses to include strength / endurance building and functional usage.

Of equal importance we are sensitive and supportive of the individual patient coping with the physical and emotional after math of hand surgery. We provide an atmosphere which promotes healing and functional recovery.

Common hand surgery procedures necessitating hand therapy include, but is not limited to:

  • Carpal Tunnel Release: A release of the ligament creating a tunnel effect at the wrist is necessary to reduce pressure on the median nerve. Prolonged pressure may cause tingling, loss of feeling, weakness and uncoordination in the hand. After a carpal tunnel release therapy is required to restore full motion, reduce swelling, soften scars and improve strength and promote sensory acuity.
  • Dupuytren’s Surgery: The palm surface of the hand tends to contract due to abnormal Dupuytren’s tissue. It may progress causing the fingers to become fixed in a bent position impairing use of hand. Surgery removes the abnormal tissue and corrects the bent deformity. Hand therapy, following surgery, includes night splinting to maintain finger extension achieved in surgery, range of motion exercises to reduce joint stiffness and promote tendon gliding as well as pain, swelling and scar management.
  • Fracture Fixation: Sometimes upper extremity fractures may require surgery to stabilize the break. Hardware such as pins, screws and or plates are commonly used. Therapy will be based upon the nature of the fracture and stability of fixation. Early hand therapy for careful range of motion exercises intermittent to protective splinting, when ever possible is optimal for restoration of joint motion.. As healing progresses more aggressive joint mobilization may be indicated as well as careful progressive strengthening
  • Joint Replacements and Reconstructions: Certain joints in the hand can be successfully replaced or reconstructed when painful and degenerated by arthritis or trauma. Depending on the specific joint replaced hand therapy intervention is necessary to maximize joint range of motion, manage scar, swelling and pain. Custom fabricated splints are used to protect healing structures as well as permit a safe range of early motion.
  • Nerve Repairs: Nerves provide sensation and muscle function to the upper extremity. When a nerve is lacerated a surgical repair is necessary. A period of immobilization is required subsequent to which hand therapy is initiated. The focus of therapy is to restore full joint motion, desensitize and soften scars, reduce swelling and promote sensory and motor function as the nerve regenerates.
  • Tendon Repairs: Tendons connect muscles to bones. When muscles contract their power is transmitted through the chord like tendons to create joint range of motion. The tendons of the hand are superficial and vulnerable to trauma. Injuries caused by lacerations or ruptures require surgical repair. After surgery careful detailed protocols of splinting and controlled range of motion are performed permitting early mobility while protecting the surgical repair.
  • Trigger Finger/Thumb Release: Locking or clicking of the finger or thumb that does not resolve with conservative treatment may require a surgical release of the pulley in the palm, restoring free gliding of the tendon. Following the surgery, gentle movement will help restore the full finger range of motion.
  • Wrist Surgery: Arthroscopic or open surgery can be performed to debride, repair or reconstruct damaged structures. Casting or splinting for a few weeks may be required subsequent to which careful movement will be started. As healing progresses strengthening will be initiated.
  • Ganglionectomy: A ganglion is a benign cyst that develops most commonly on the back and the front of the wrist or on the inside of the fingers. If function decreases or pain increases, surgical removal is an option. Treatment will focus on restoration of full motion, strength and function.
  • Amputations: Amputations are usually a result of a laceration, crush injury, or disease. Treatment will focus on reshaping the stump, desensitization, reducing pain and swelling and restoring function.

Many additional hand surgery procedures require post operative care of a hand therapist especially as constant advances in surgical procedures and rehabilitation techniques occur. For more information, Contact us at Oswego & Watertown, NY centers.