Effective Rehabilitation of the HandBy Park, Kevin; Lechner, Deborah; Rehab Management,
Publication Date: April 2010
Case study outlines the physical rehabilitation and return to work evaluation of a man sustaining hand injury in an industrial accident. After surgery to repair broken fingers and crush injury to the soft tissue of his right hand, followed by splinting of the hand and subsequently range of motion therapy and mobilization casting, the client underwent return to work testing 5 months after injury. A job-specific, upper extremity-specific functional capacity evaluation (FCE) was performed, and a job analysis was ordered to identify the job related tasks performed to be matched to the client’s abilities and included in the FCE report. As the client’s physician, based on the FCE report, determined that the worker’s abilities did not match all his job demands, the clinician recommended a 4 week work conditioning program prior to returning to work full time. Therapy during the 4 week period combined cardiovascular conditioning using an upper body ergometer, grip strength activities with therapy putty and digital grippers, graded therapy pins to increase pinch strength, graded therapy bands and free weights to increase upper extremity strength in general, and the use of nuts and bolts assembly and hand tools to improve power grip and manual dexterity. At the conclusion of the work conditioning program, the client was able to return to work with the aid of ergonomic modifications and larger handle tools. The authors conclude that this systematic approach to rehabilitation of the injured hand is cost effective for the client, the employer, and the insurance carrier.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.rehabpub.com/issues/articles/2010-04_04.asp