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Southern Therapy Expands Upper Extremity Program

Hand Therapy

Southern Therapy Services, Inc. has a newly expanded upper extremity program and has recently hired a physical therapist with 17 years of clinical experience that is certified in hand rehabilitation. According to the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC), fewer than 6,000 individuals hold this marked designation worldwide. “We now have two physical therapists and one occupational therapist that are also certified hand therapists. They will play an integral role in our upper extremity program,” explains Bo Hamil, President and CEO of Southern Therapy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, upper extremity injuries account for nearly 23% of all workday loss injuries with hand injuries accounting for 17% alone. The most common cause of these injuries is blunt trauma (50%), followed by injury from a sharp object (17%).

Intricate in design and function, the hand is a remarkable work of anatomic engineering. The hand consists of 27 bones (including the 8 bones of the wrist). When the other associated structures (nerves, arteries, veins, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint cartilage, and fingernails) are considered, the potential for a variety of injuries exists when trauma involves the hand. To reduce this risk, even the smallest hand injuries require proper medical evaluation.

After orthopedic injury or surgery, people often need aggressive rehabilitation in order to reach their goal of an independent lifestyle. The goal with injuries to the hand is a rapid and accurate initial evaluation and treatment. In other words, once an injury occurs, the doctor strives to begin medical treatment quickly so the short- and long-term effects on the hand can be minimized.

Certified Hand Therapists have obtained a minimum of five years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more of direct practice in hand therapy. “We look forward to serving our area with this level of expertise,” says Hamil. The program will better assist in the evaluation and treatment of complex injuries to the upper extremity including:

  • Tendon/nerve repairs
  • Fractures
  • Multiple trauma
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Amputations/replantations
  • Cumulative trauma
  • Neurologically impaired hand function

People value the use of their hands; therefore, any loss of function through injury or disease can be devastating. The certified hand therapist credential (CHT) offers assurance to the public that the therapist treating them has achieved the highest recognition of competency of therapy for the upper extremity.