Getting technical with helping hands
January 16, 2009
Margo Jones-Brady and Kim Ross don’t believe you should stop having fun just because you’re injured.
The two are certified hand therapists with Hand and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Specialists that just opened a new office in Kimball Junction.
Hand, wrist and elbow injuries can usually be protected by a splint made of thin thermoplastic material. The ones for wrists and hands fit inside a ski, biking or softball glove.
"Park City is a very active community. Patients with an injury want to know if there’s a way to still enjoy sports," explained Ross.
The answer is yes.
Hold a ski pole or hockey stick. Go cycling. Jones-Brady said they don’t just want to get you back to work, they want to help you get back to doing what you enjoy.
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Patient Lisa Ruskin is an orthopedic physician herself and a self-described 56-year-old "maniacal athlete."
"I’ve had a myriad of sports injuries and been to a lot of care centers. They’re the ultimate in personalized attention, accommodating schedules, making sure injuries heal as fast as possible and getting you back to best level of performance," she said.
Ross and Jones-Brady are hand, wrist and elbow experts who come at their specialization from complementing, but different backgrounds. Ross started her career 17 years ago as an occupational therapist helping people with issues like carpal tunnel syndrome and other problems caused by poor ergonomics.
Jones-Brady is a physical therapist and has been in orthopedics for 31 years. Her work with a hand-surgeon led to her career as a hand specialist. She runs four offices west of the Wasatch Mountains, and the arrival of some skilled surgeons and other experts to Summit County prompted her to open a Kimball Junction office to serve the people here.
"We specialize in the evolution of very specific conditions including swelling, scar tissue, sensation, range of motion and wound care," she said.
The proper management of problems can significantly improve the quality and rate of recovery.
"It’s amazing to see how people get their range of motion back when they wouldn’t have otherwise," said therapy aid Terri Bowers.
Suzanne Moore can attest to that. She
shattered her elbow playing in summer.
"Without their help, I wouldn’t be able to move my arm," she said.
The physical therapy is painful and difficult, she said, but regaining her range of motion is worth it.
"They’re in a funny position. Therapy doesn’t always feel good, it hurts, but they do it in a nice way," Moore said. "They’re great."
She also said the people at Hand and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Specialists taught her a lot about how the arms work and why she needed to do the exercises given her.
Jones-Brady said proper education is necessary to make sure patients do the right stretching and exercises to speed their own recovery.
It’s not easy to be a certified hand, wrist and elbow therapist. It requires five years of clinical experience, the passing of a national test and several hours of continuing education each year.
But a certified expert can provide a level of quality service unattainable by regular physical therapists, Jones-Brady said.
"You can expect the best and receive the best," she said.
The more serious injuries are, the more important it is to find people who are experts, Ruskin said of her experiences with them.
It’s that expertise that allows them to mold effective splints to keep people active while the injuries are healing. Proper management of injuries also help the patient regain strength in that part of the body and prevent re-injury, she added.
"Good education basically turns into preventive care," Bowers said.
If a splint doesn’t fit properly, they put in 110 percent fixing the problem, Ruskin said.
Hand and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Specialists
1526 Ute Blvd. Suite 102