Therapy After Injury to the Hand

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Erik Dorf, MD, Carla Blue, OTR/L, CHT, Beth P. Smith, PhD and L. Andrew Koman, MD J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 18, No 8, August 2010 Surgical and nonsurgical management of upper extremity disorders benefits from the collaboration of a therapist, the treating physician, and the patient. Hand therapy plays a role in many aspects of treatment, and patients with upper extremity injuries may spend considerably more time with a therapist than with a surgeon. Hand therapists coordinate edema control; pain management; minimization of joint contractures; maximization of tendon gliding, strengthening, and work hardening; counseling; and ongoing diagnostic evaluation. Modalities used to manage hand injuries include ultrasound, splinting, Fluidotherapy (Chattanooga Group, Chattanooga, TN), cryotherapy, various electrical modalities, phonophoresis, and iontophoresis.

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