Photo of hand therapist with patientGuy’s and St Thomas' hand therapy service provides specialist care for adults and children with both non-surgical or surgical conditions of the hand and forearm. Care is carried out by hand therapists who are qualified occupational therapists and physiotherapists.
As a patient, you'll receive a tailored assessment and treatment session. Working closely with plastic, orthopaedic and rheumatology consultants, your therapist will have a sound understanding of any surgical or medical procedures performed and the plan for your recovery.
Our hand therapy service includes hand and upper limb assessments and treatments including splinting, individualised rehabilitation, acupuncture and computerised assessments and treatments to support your return to work and leisure activities.
Conditions suitable for hand therapy
- Chronic instabilities of the wrist or hand
- Hand fractures
- Soft tissue injuries
- Non-traumatic syndromes, such as osteoarthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and De Quervain's
- Tendon repair
- Work related upper limb disorders (RSI)
- Wrist injuries
- Scar management
- Custom-made splint fabrication
- Exercise and work rehabilitation
- Functional rehabilitation (including ergonomic assessment and modification)
- Joint mobilisation
- Soft tissue massage
- Wound care
- Scar management for all burns and problematic scars
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) treatment
Case study: Jamie Williams
When Jamie Williams cut his arm with a saw, he thought his career as a tree surgeon was over. Jamie says: “I was at home, building a pond, and I had just a little bit left to do when I picked up the circular saw. At first, I didn’t know how far the saw had made it into my arm, but when I pulled it out, I couldn’t move my hand at all.”
Matt James, consultant plastic surgeon, operated on Jamie twice. He reattached the tendons and nerves which had been cut by the saw, and a week later Jamie went home.
After the surgery
Jamie leaves St Thomas’ Hospital in July 2015 after two operations on his hand
Jamie leaves St Thomas' after two
operations on his hand.
After his operations, Jamie was seen by the hand therapy team at St Thomas’ Hospital. Jamie’s hand was placed in a protective splint made by the hand therapists to stop him from overstretching the tendons that join muscle to bone.
After months of hand therapy, the movement and strength has mostly returned to Jamie’s hand. Now the only limit to his movement is caused by tightness around the scar on his arm. Jamie will have a third operation to remove some of the scar tissue this winter while the tree surgery business is quiet.
Jamie concludes: “If I’d done this 10 years ago, I might have lost my hand. Now I’m back at work and playing with my kids like normal. It’s amazing what the team has done.”