What is Occupational and physio- hand therapy?

Hand therapy is often the major component in ‘conservative management’ (non-surgical) of many hand complaints. It is essential to know when to operate and when not to operate on the broad spectrum of hand problems. Following treatment of complex hand conditions most patients follow a rehabilitation program to gain the maximum benefit from their surgery. Scar sensitivity and stiffness is also addressed through regular massage therapy. Thermo-plastic split protection of the operative site is commonly advised which is delivered by specialist hand therapists. Hand therapy following surgery is often an integral part of a patient’s care package and is essential in order for full function to be regained.

What are the non-surgical and surgical options available?

Hand therapy is predominantly non-surgical. Prior to and following on from surgery, a supervised rehabilitation program is designed. Dressings are changed, sutures removed, splints are made for the protection of the wound and swelling is controlled. Rehabilitation also includes exercises, stretches and massages to aid recovery. Occasionally, when physiotherapy fails to improve symptoms, surgery is advocated.

How long do the results last for?

The end result often takes several months of hand therapy, once this has been achieved, the results are life-long.

What are the risks?

As a person ages, their hands change and these changes can affect the results of surgery. Often additional surgery for related conditions is necessary and the rehabilitation must be initiated again.

What are the success rates?

Hand therapy produces the best results from surgery.

How much does the surgery cost?

Hand therapy costs are variable and are determined by the surgery and the length of rehabilitation necessary.

An accurate breakdown and a detailed quote will be given following the initial consultation.

What general advice is there?

Simple pain relief (paracetamol and/or ibuprofen) one hour before hand therapy rehabilitation allows more exercises to be undertaken. Desensitisation with moisturiser and massage helps scars to soften and become less painful.