Hand therapy

About

Our hand therapists are occupational therapists and physiotherapists who specialise in treating people with conditions and injuries affecting the hand and wrist.

Hand therapists perform specialist assessments and develop individualised treatment plans for patients, supporting them to return to function including for work, sport and leisure activities. 

Our hand therapy team accepts referrals from the Trust’s plastic surgery, trauma and orthopaedics and rheumatology teams. We work closely alongside our medical and nursing colleagues to ensure you receive the right care at the right time. 

Conditions and treatments

Conditions we treat

  • fractures
  • nerve and tendon injuries
  • tendon disorders including trigger finger and De Quervain’s syndrome 
  • nerve disorders including carpal tunnel syndrome
  • joint sprains and strains
  • arthritis
  • Dupuytren’s disease
  • work-related upper limb disorders

Treatments we offer

  • oedema management
  • wound management
  • scar management
  • splinting, bracing and casting
  • stretching and strengthening exercises
  • sensory re-education
  • functional retraining 
  • ergonomic and postural advice
  • re-training and work hardening to return to work and sport
  • other alternative treatments

Additional information

Clinical trials and research 

The team leads and participates in clinical research. Our studies investigate how best to assess and treat our patients to improve care and patient outcomes after injury or surgery.

Our current studies include:

  • Dart thrower’s motion reliability study: we are collaborating with Dr Angela Kedgley, lecturer in orthopaedic biomechanics at Imperial College London for this study. We aim to assess whether the movement of throwing a dart is the same in both your healthy and your injured hands, and whether it can be measured using a type of protractor called a goniometer which is used to measure joint movement. Regaining this motion is important after wrist injury because the ‘dart throwing’ wrist movement is repeated in many different daily tasks, including picking up a cup, pouring a kettle and hammering. Please email Dr Kedgley for more information about this trial.
  • Hand osteoarthritis finger splint study: we are also collaborating with Dr Kedgley to design an innovative finger splint or brace for people with painful osteoarthritis. Our previous research has shown that wearing a splint at night reduces pain. Now we are working with our patients and our colleagues in the department of bioengineering at Imperial College to improve our splint design. Please email Dr Kedgley for more information about this trial.
  • Carpal tunnel surgery outcome study: we are collaborating with Professor Andrew Rice, Dr Caroline Alexander and Mr Shehan Hettiaratchy in this study to see if pain, mood and sleep affect patient outcomes following carpal tunnel surgery. You can read more about our study here. Please email Donna Kennedy for more information about this trial. 

Further online resources