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Hand therapy helping John get back on the Lawn Mower

Occupational Therapist Angela Ferrarin with John at a hand therapy session.

This blog is written by Angela Ferrarin, Occupational Therapist, Acute Hand Therapy, Peninsula Health. 

John sustained a complex injury after attempting to clean the blades of his ride on mower. His right middle finger was partially amputated on his dominant hand. The next day he had plastic surgery to repair arteries, nerves, tendons and ligaments, surrounding his joint.

John has been seeing the hand therapy team at Peninsula Health for a few months to regain his function. Initially treatment involved custom made splinting to protect the length and integrity of his soft tissues and allow for skin healing.  Once healing allowed we commenced a home program; therapy sessions began to restore range of movement and manage issues like joint stiffness, scar adhesion and contracture.  Throughout his care John requried modifications to his splint to improve range of movement; compression gloves to assist with swelling management and scar maturation; and a customised exercise program to manage scar adhesion and regain movement.  

When asked about his impression of hand therapy John had one word – “fantastic!”

In further discussion he stated that the team was “very dedicated” and “top class”. John has been extremely consistent with his guided home program and now has a great outcome he attributes this to his home program. “So long as I keep up my exercises it’s good.” John adds.  

John is glad to say his hand is now functional and he is back on the mower and doing all the farm chores once again.