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Hand Therapy 101

Posted on 05-22-2024 in Wrist, occupational therapy, Finger, Hand, Elbow & hand therapy by Dr. Steven Kronlage

As a subset of occupational therapy, hand therapy plays a significant role in treating and improving patient outcomes related to acute and chronic conditions of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. At North Florida Bone & Joint Specialists, our Certified Hand Therapists (CHTs) are board-certified in occupational therapy with an added qualification in Hand Therapy. Working with a CHT can have several benefits, including:

  • Specialized Knowledge: CHTs are trained to work with patients with complex conditions and injuries related to the upper extremities.
  • Personalized Care: CHTs work closely with patients to understand their unique needs and address their specific concerns.
  • Improved Functionality: CHTs teach patients how to use their hands and arms more effectively to regain strength, dexterity and range of motion.
  • Re-Injury Prevention: CHTs help patients prevent re-injury by teaching them how to protect their hands and arms during daily activities and providing injury prevention education.

Our CHTs work collaboratively with our fellowship-trained surgeons, Dr. Steven Kronlage, Dr. Alex Coleman and Dr. James Piorkowski, to develop comprehensive treatment plans for patients with arthritis, congenital differences, tendonitis, neuropathies, palsies and other conditions. They also work with patients recovering from nerve repair and injuries such as tendon ruptures, ligament instability, wounds, lacerations, fractures, crush or other trauma-related injuries, and those sustained while participating in sports or on the job.

The intake process begins with reviewing your medical history and evaluating your physical demands at home and work, as well as those required for leisure activities or your role as a caregiver. Range of motion, strength and sensory testing, and observing the performance of functional tasks may also be included in the initial evaluation process. Our CHTs will also discuss your treatment goals to ensure realistic outcomes, such as safely performing daily tasks at home or returning to athletics. A comprehensive plan of care may include a combination of the following:

  • therapeutic activities and exercise
  • post-surgical/injury education
  • scar and pain management
  • sensory re-education
  • mirror therapy
  • joint protection
  • activity modification
  • training in activities of daily living and adaptive or assistive devices
  • custom orthosis fabrication

If you currently suffer from an injury or condition of your hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder that may benefit from occupational therapy with one of our Certified Hand Therapists at North Florida Bone & Joint Specialists, please contact our office at 850-807-4200 or complete our online Appointment Request Form to schedule a visit with one of our Hand Center Physicians.

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