Hand Therapy Clinic

Welcome to the WPRS Hand therapy clinic

Our experienced and dedicated team at WPRS hand therapy recognise the importance of accurate diagnosis and an individualised treatment approach. At WPRS the hand therapy team work closely with Plastic and Reconstructive surgeons and in clinic nurses to ensure you receive the highest level of care.

The team at WPRS hand therapy treat a wide variety of conditions and injuries conservatively and post-operatively including:

  1. Wrist, hand and finger sprains, fractures, and dislocations
  2. Ligamentous and tendon injuries
  3. Traumatic injuries (Crush, Amputations, Nailbed repairs, and Lacerations)
  4. Nerve compressions (Carpal tunnel, Guyon’s canal, and Cubital tunnel syndrome)
  5. Trigger fingers and thumb
  6. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis of the hands
  7. Tendonitis conditions (Tennis elbow and De Quervain’s)
  8. Dupuytren’s contracture
  9. Wrist and hand pain
  10. Burns and scar management
  11. Paediatric conditions

What is Hand Therapy?

According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (2021), hand therapy is…

“the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity. It uses a number of therapeutic interventions to help return a person to their highest level of function”.

A hand therapist can be an Occupational Therapist or a Physiotherapist who has undergone additional training, education and clinical experience to become skilled in treating upper extremity conditions.

What we do

WPRS hand therapists provide comprehensive assessment and treatment for a large range of conditions from the elbow to the fingertip. These include acute injuries, post-op rehabilitation and chronic conditions.

As the hand and upper limb is made up of many complex structures and tissues, our hand therapists at WPRS are continuously completing additional education and training to further advance their knowledge and skills. WPRS hand therapists apply an evidence-based, client-centred approach to all patients and work closely with the Plastic and Reconstructive surgeons and WPRS clinical nurses to ensure you receive the highest level of care.

Meet our team

Eileen Kennedy

Occupational Therapist / Practitioner in Hand Therapy / Certified Hand Therapist (USA)

Natalie Tongs

Occupational Therapist / Practitioner in Hand Therapy

Zabelle Huni

Physiotherapist / Practitioner in Hand Therapy

Keziah Freeman

Occupational Therapist / Practitioner in Hand Therapy

Services

We provide a large range of services within the WPRS hand therapy clinic. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Custom made splints
  • Post-operative rehabilitation
  • Scar and wound management
  • Fracture management and rehabilitation
  • Sporting injuries
  • Customised strengthening programs
  • Conservative management of chronic and inflammatory conditions
  • Workcover & TAC

Scar and wound management

WPRS hand therapists can provide you with wound care and advice following your operation or injury to maximise you’re healing. Our hand therapists are also very lucky to have quick access to nurses in the clinic if additional assistance or advice is required.

Scarring is a natural response to tissue or skin disruption following a surgery or injury, but can become a problem if not treated properly. Appropriate scar management can minimise the negative impacts that scarring can have including decreased range of motion due to adhesions or contractures, hypersensitivity, excess scarring, or a poor cosmetic outcome.

WPRS hand therapists can provide you with scar management and advice to help minimise the risks of negative outcomes of scarring including:

  • Appropriate wound care
  • Elastomer putty
  • Compression garments
  • Massage
  • Taping
  • Silicon tapes and digi caps

Customised strengthening programs

Strengthening is a later part of therapy for many conditions, injuries and post-operative management. WPRS hand therapists develop a strengthening program specific to you, your needs and your injury. We believe that less is more and aim to provide you with a structured, appropriate strengthening program that doesn’t overload you with lots of different exercises to remember and fit into your day. We use lots of different strengthening equipment that you can purchase from our clinic and take home (theraputty, theraband, hand exercisers etc.) or that you can easily find or make at home (pegs, balls, weighted items etc).

Workcover & TAC

WPRS hand therapists work with Workcover and TAC patients to return them safely to work and/or life activities. Our hand therapists liaise with your work and case managers as required to ensure that your transition back into work or your life activities is as seamless as possible.

Custom made splints
There are many reasons why a custom-made splint might be required during your hand therapy treatment. This could include to:

  • Immobilise a fracture of the forearm, wrist, hand, thumb or fingers
  • Allow joints or tissues to rest and heal
  • Increase range of motion
  • Allow for post-operative healing of repaired ligaments, tendons or bones
  • Correct or avoid joint deformities
  • Provide pain management for chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis

WPRS hand therapists fabricate custom fitting splints that are moulded to fit your body. Majority of these splints are fabricated using a thermoplastic material which has many benefits including; increased comfort, the ability to be removed to complete advised exercises or to be washed, and they can be worn in the shower without having to be covered. Thermoplastic splints can also be re-moulded at each therapy session to accommodate for reduced oedema, changes in range of motion, progression in therapy requirements, or to increase comfort.

Fracture management and rehabilitation

WPRS hand therapists treat fractures of the wrist, hand, thumb and fingers on a very regular basis. This treatment may include conservatively or post-operatively. Treatment will typically include a period of immobilisation in a custom-made splint, followed by a personalised rehabilitation program as required.

WPRS hand therapists accept referrals directly from GPs, or through our hand trauma clinic. The general public can also book directly with our hand therapists without a referral; however, we may suggest seeking a referral to our hand trauma clinic through your GP if we believe it is necessary and requires surgical review.

Conservative management of chronic and inflammatory conditions

Although we work alongside our Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, not all patients are suitable for, or would like to have surgery. Surgeons may also advise patients to trial conservative management prior to choosing surgery. Some of these conditions that we treat conservatively include:

  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, including the common CMCJ OA (base of thumb arthritis)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Trigger finger or thumb
  • Tennis elbow

WPRS hand therapists are skilled to treat and/or manage these conditions through a wide range of therapy. This may include periods of immobilisation in a custom-made splint, exercise and strengthening programs, and education on off-loading the affected tissues/joints and preventative measures for the future.

Post-operative rehabilitation

As WPRS hand therapists work closely with the two Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, they are highly skilled in providing post-operative therapy for many injuries and conditions. These include but are not limited to post-operative management of:

Acute injuries/trauma

  • Forearm, hand, thumb and finger fractures – GAMP, ORIFs and K-wires;
  • Ligament, muscle and tendon repairs
  • Lacerations, crush injuries and nailbed repairs
  • Amputations

Chronic conditions

  • Dupuytren’s fasciectomy
  • Trapeziectomy and FCR resuspension following CMCJ OA
  • Joint fusions

Nerve and Tendon releases

  • De Quervain’s
  • Carpal Tunnel Release
  • Cubital Tunnel Release
  • Guyons Canal Release

Patient outcomes following these surgeries are very dependent on completing the appropriate hand therapy required. As the hand and upper limb has very complex anatomy and structures involved, patients require specific and structured rehabilitation programs to maximise their best outcome.

Sporting injuries

Sporting injuries make up a large percentage of the acute fractures, dislocations and ligament injuries seen at WPRS. Common injuries include fractures of the wrist, hand, thumb and/or fingers, dislocations, tendon injuries such as mallet finger, and ligament injuries such as volar plate, central slip or ulnar collateral ligament tears. Our highest contributing sports are football, basketball, cricket and netball.

WPRS hand therapists understand the importance that sports plays in many people’s lives and that you want to return as soon as possible. When treating your sporting injuries, we aim to find the right balance between allowing your injury to heal adequately, and allowing you to return to the game you love. Correct rehabilitation is important to ensure that further damage isn’t done, you aren’t at risk of re-injuring in the future, and that you are returning to your sport on top of your game.

Rehabilitation following sporting injuries may include a period of immobilisation or controlled mobilisation whilst wearing a custom-made splint, followed by a specific and personalised rehabilitation program.

FAQ

Costs

  • Initial consult 30mins: $75
  • Review consult 30mins: $60
  • Review consult 15mins: $40
  • Splints, exercise equipment and other additional items required will incur an additional fee.

Will my private health cover the hand therapy fees?
WPRS hand therapy is a private service. Patients with private health cover with extras in Occupational Therapy (or Physiotherapy in our Mt Gambier clinic) may claim some rebate from their health fund. Patients with extras covered may also be able to claim on splinting costs. You will need to look into your particular private health cover.

Do you accept Enhanced Primary Care Plan?
Yes. WPRS happily accepts patients for management under an EPCP which enables a number of sessions with our hand therapists paid for by Medicare. There will however be a gap fee of $17 that will need to be paid by yourself. The EPCP does not cover the costs of splints, exercise equipment or other additional items that may be required.

Do I need a referral?
Private patients: No referral is required to book in with our hand therapists. You can call (03) 5562 5330 to book an appointment. Referrals are also accepted.

Workcover, DVA & TAC: Yes, you will require a referral from your GP. Once the referral is received WPRS will contact you with an appointment.

EPC Plan: Yes, a referral/EPC plan is required from your GP.

Do I need to pay on the day of my appointment?
Yes, WPRS requires payment on the day of your appointment.