Learning who you are, what you do and how you do it is the premise of our assessment. As occupational therapists specialising in hand therapy we consider the roles in life and these will help form your assessment and treatment program. Assessment is a combination of what happened to cause the problem, the scans/X-rays you have had, combined with the physical assessment.
Your interview will direct us to where we need to assess. As a rule we aim to provide thorough examination to ensure nothing is missed or masked. Assessment involves checking all muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves are intact and functioning. We are able to perform specific tests to assess and diagnose the problem. These are based on how you should normally be able to move, what is tender to touch, weakness, pain or changes in sensation. Problems may include bony abnormalities like fractures, damage to tendons, ligaments, nerve injury or compression. We work with your doctor to ensure the most effective scans are undertaken, if they weren’t done prior to your assessment.
Our assessment goes beyond the physical assessment to encompass why it happened in the first place. Is it because of the way you hold a tool, was the tool not functioning or was it that you should have used something to help make the task easier?
Treatment is not always about stopping you from doing what you want and need to do, but deciding how can you do it differently to maintain independence. Once we work out why and what structures are involved, we can work with you specifically to regain your function and independence. For example, if you regularly do gym classes, it may be there are certain activities to avoid and others done differently, but we aim to keep you being able to do what you want and need to do.