Rehabbing a hip or knee is nothing new, but how about an injured hand? They often bare the brunt of our active lifestyles. Losing function can be a disaster, but is in many cases avoidable.
“We’ll have patients that come in that have had surgery related to arthritis in their thumbs and we’ll get them referred to us to do splinting initially. Then exercises to begin range of motion, then eventually begin some strengthening exercises,” says Brett Bennett, certified hand therapist with Lee Memorial Health System.
Other times it’s an injury that leads patients to Lee Memorial Health System’s outpatient therapy.
“Whether it’s due to maybe an electrical saw or to a knife or to glass they will have surgery to repair the tendons again kind of the same process we’ll get them referred to us,” says Bennett.
Hand therapy can actually include the entire arm, in the case of a fall- someone may hurt their wrist, elbow even shoulder and could use a hand.
“We really have to evaluate the whole extremity. We’ll assess their range of motion, assess the strength in their hand, assessing the strength in their arm as well, given that information then we’ll set up an exercise program that they can do easily at home,” says Bennett.
You think of rehab - and it usually brings to mind mending muscles. But hand therapy expands the scope to include nerve issues- and helps people get in touch with their feelings.
“Say for example someone has had an injury to a nerve and they’ve lost sensation in their fingers, maybe due to carpal tunnel even where they don’t feel things readily. So we would teach them exercises to help re-educate the nerve. Teach them also manipulation type exercises to try help re-educate the nerves, get them used to handling different type textures,’ says Bennett.
The finishing touch is to re-arm people with the skills they need to navigate their everyday life.
View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/
Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.
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