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Hand therapy

Patient information A-Z

What is hand therapy and why have you been referred to hand therapy?

The hand therapy service provides specialist treatment for patients with loss of function in their hand/upper limb following surgery, acute injury or other conditions affecting the hand and forearm.

A therapist (either an occupational therapist or physiotherapist) will assess you and provide you with the treatment required to help you recover from your injury or surgical operation, or to help manage your condition.

What does hand therapy involve?

The hand therapy service includes a variety of hand and upper limb assessments and treatments including:

  • Education about your condition, including healing timescales and precautions you may need to follow during your treatment.
  • Fabricating or fitting splints to provide protection or support or to correct a deformity.
  • Exercises to complete during the appointment and at home, to improve or preserve range of movement in the joints
  • Scar and Oedema (swelling) management.
  • Pain management techniques.
  • Therapeutic ultrasound.
  • Strengthening exercises.
  • Advice on activities of daily living.
  • Facilitating return to function.

What can you expect in hand therapy?

Hand therapy aims to help you re-establish the maximum possible movement, strength and function in your hand.

On-going therapy may be required and may last several weeks or months depending on the severity of the condition and based on your recovery. Follow-up appointments will be arranged as required dependent on your condition.

What happens if you cannot or do not attend?

If you are unable to attend a hand therapy appointment then please call and let us know as soon as possible before your appointment so that we can offer the appointment to someone else. If you cancel two consecutive appointments you will be discharged from the hand therapy service, as per the hospitals guidelines.

If you do not call us before your appointment and do not attend the appointment then you will be discharged from the hand therapy service.

Please allow sufficient time to get to your appointment on time. If you are more than ten minutes late, your appointment may need to be rescheduled.

Where is hand therapy?

Hand therapy is located in occupational therapy in clinic 30 in the Addenbrooke’s treatment centre (ATC).

Your therapist is: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Occupational therapy / clinic 30 reception telephone number: 01223 216769.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151