Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Keeping patients 'in good hands'

Date:
August 4, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Summary:
Hand therapy is one of the most vital treatment steps in recovery from hand injury surgery, according to a new review.

Hand therapy is one of the most vital treatment steps in recovery from hand injury surgery, according to a literature review published in the August 2010 issue of The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). In fact, many patients spend more time with the hand therapist than the orthopaedic surgeon in the effort to ensure the best results and long-term recovery.

"Hand therapy is the critical link between certain surgeries on the hand and a good outcome," said Erik Dorf, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon and upper extremity specialist at Vail Summit Orthopaedics in Vail, and Frisco, Colorado, and a co-author of the review. "Collaboration and cooperation between the patient, the therapist, and the orthopaedic surgeon is critical."

Dr. Dorf added that not all hand injuries need surgery or intense therapy; but typically, injuries like tendon lacerations, or hand, wrist or finger fractures have a better long-term recovery following hand therapy.

The review found that hand therapy addresses important factors in any hand injury recovery. Some include:

  • swelling control;
  • wound management;
  • range of motion;
  • strengthening of the hand;
  • and work conditioning.

These goals are not necessarily sequential; some factors may be addressed simultaneously, depending on the injury and treatment plan. In addition, treatment may also include some combination of splinting, taping, or wrapping the hand to provide support and/or prevent swelling.

To ensure the best result after a hand injury, Dr. Dorf recommends finding a therapist who is both qualified and convenient. It is important for both the patient and treating physician to be confident in the therapist. After a qualified therapist has been agreed upon, the patient should participate in a structured therapy program and perform at-home exercises as instructed.

"If therapy is not part of the overall treatment plan, the long-term consequences can include ongoing pain, decreased range of motion, decreased strength, and difficulty with fine motor tasks," added Dr. Dorf. "The activities of daily life can become very difficult."

The article describes different modalities used by hand therapists to improve results, including:

  • Fluidotherapy (a dry heat treatment that helps range of motion)
  • Paraffin therapy (a warm paraffin wax bath that helps range of motion)
  • Cryotherapy (application of cold water to reduce swelling)
  • Various modes of electrical stimulation (to decrease fluid in the hand and accelerate wound healing)
  • Phonophoresis and iontophoresis (instillation of low dose medications into the tissues of the hand using an electrical charge or ultrasound).

Dr. Dorf also notes that persistence is important. "People want to get better quickly, but recovery from hand injuries and subsequent surgery can take a long time. Working with a hand therapist encourages patients to get involved in their own recovery by enabling them to follow the small but significant changes that occur over time."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Keeping patients 'in good hands'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803092148.htm>.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2010, August 4). Keeping patients 'in good hands'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803092148.htm
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Keeping patients 'in good hands'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803092148.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins