For Patients and Visitors
What is the Service?
Hand Therapists work with people who have injured or had an operation on their hand(s) and/or arm(s), to help them recover and regain the use of their hand and/or arm.
What can I expect from the service?
Northern Health Hand Therapists provide a variety of services (including but not limited to):
- Thorough assessment of hand function – swelling, movement, strength , scars, feeling
- Making splints to protect the hand while it heals, prevent movement, rest or support the hand or to assist in relieving pain
- Reducing swelling
- Reducing the hardness/tightness/appearance and sensitivity of scar(s)
- Exercise to improve and regain movement and strength
- Advice on returning to general activities, work, sport and driving
Patients attend Hand Therapy until they have recovered sufficiently and can independently manage their condition with advice from their therapist. Often, patients will be provided with an exercise program to continue their rehabilitation at home.
What do I bring/need for my appointment?
The hand therapist will let you know what to bring to your appointment
How much does it cost?
There is no cost for the Hand Therapy service consultations. There may be a cost for splints and other items prescribed by the Hand Therapist but your therapist will advise you of these costs.
The Hand Therapy team consists of Occupational Therapists and an Allied health Assistant who have specialised in the management of hand conditions.
The Northern Hospital, Allied Health Reception Phone (03) 8405 8580
Craigieburn Health Service Phone (03) 8338 3000
For Health Professionals
The Hand Therapists work as members of the health care team at Craigieburn Health Service and The Northern Hospital. Hand Therapists work with people who have injured or had an operation on their hand(s) and/or arm(s), to help them recover and regain the use of their hand and/or arm.
Hand Therapy Assessment
Hand Therapy assessment includes hand function, appearance, oedema, scars, joint range, sensation, strength and dexterity. Standardized assessment tools may be employed as deemed appropriate such as Goniometry, Semmes Weinstein, Jamar Dynamometer, Vancouver Scar Assessment Scale.
Hand Therapy Treatment Provision
Hand Therapy at Northern Health is a dedicated service to managing acute traumatic injuries to the hand including:
- Thorough assessment of hand function, oedema, scars, joint range, strength and dexterity
- Splinting (for immobilization/protection/function/pain relief/mobilisation)
- Oedema control
- Scar management, including pressure garment prescription if appropriate
- Hypersensitivity reduction/desensitization programs
- Sensory re-education
- Mobilisation programs
- Strengthening programs
- Functional recovery and return to work advice (liaison with occupational rehabilitation providers/insurance companies/employers).
Intervention will be offered until the therapist is satisfied that the patient can independently manage their condition with advice from their therapist. Often a self-directed home program will be prescribed.
Who Could Benefit from the Hand Therapy Service?
An individual presenting with:
- Traumatic hand injuries in including replants and crush injuries.
- Tendon injury for protective splinting and early mobilization.
- Amputation of a digit that has developed hypersensitivity for a desensitization program.
- Hand fractures and dislocations for oedema control, protective splinting and mobilisation.
- Hypertrophic scarring for scar management.
- Grafts to the hand/upper limb for protective splinting
- Post-operative carpal tunnel release, trigger finger and other elective surgical hand procedures
Patients referred from Northern Health Surgical Units or Northern Health Emergency Department
External referrals (from GPs, Private Practitioners) are not accepted
Alternative service options
Private Hand Therapists. A list of hand therapist can be found on the Australian Hand Therapy Association website
Allied Health Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org