Therapy after injury to the hand

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2010 Aug;18(8):464-73. doi: 10.5435/00124635-201008000-00003.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bandages
  • Cicatrix / therapy
  • Debridement
  • Equipment Design
  • Hand Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Hand Injuries / surgery
  • Hand Injuries / therapy*
  • Hot Temperature / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Iontophoresis
  • Phonophoresis
  • Splints
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation
  • Wound Healing / physiology