Doctor services

Thank you for your referral

Hello and thank you for referring your patients to Hand Works – they will be in good hands!

We recommend early referrals to maximise the outcomes of all patients. Should our therapists believe that further work-ups or a surgical consult be required, they will contact you immediately to discuss.

What makes Hand Works different?

Being occupational therapist-owned provides us with a unique viewpoint on the conservative management of hand and upper limb injuries and conditions. Instead of relying solely on surgical interventions, this perspective allows for a focus on holistic care, functional outcomes and maximising one’s abilities to perform daily activities, work tasks and leisure pursuits.

Our approach highlights the significance of applying sound clinical reasoning skills, conducting comprehensive assessments, promoting rehabilitation and integrating adaptive strategies tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of individual patient.

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What we do best

Choosing the right type of material for our orthoses is an important factor in providing the best possible outcome for our patients. Our material of choice is low temperature thermoplastic. Its versatility allows us to remould it when required to accommodate for changes in a patient’s condition (ie. oedema) and its lightweight, waterproof properties make it a patient-friendly option. We are also able to offer different colours for patient personalisation.

We are also able to fabricate orthoses using Plaster of Paris and Fibreglass when clinically indicated.  These may be bette suited for patients with specific medical or compliance requirements.


We are able to assess the patients’ improvements at every treatment session and adjust their return to work recommendations as appropriate. We will work with doctors and vocational rehabilitation providers to support the worker during their return to work in a suitable role including appropriate hours/tasks. As much as possible, we will tailor our exercise regime to mirror the work tasks that are required of the injured worker. Our work recommendations will take into consideration the injury, anatomy, and psychosocial situation of the worker.

Work Site Assessments

As Occupational Therapists, we are skilled at assessing and providing ergonomic recommendations through our expertise in task analysis and anatomical knowledge. We will include return to work recommendations in our initial and progress reports. Occupational Therapists at Hand Works can be available to undertake work site assessments for workers who have sustained hand or upper limb injuries (whether in an office or at an industrial site), and are in the unique situation of assessing the worker’s physical capabilities, as well as having an in-depth of knowledge of their upper limb injury or disability. We can assess the ergonomics of a workstation and recommend changes to enhance the injured workers return to work (e.g. vertical mouse, keyboard alterations, postural considerations, or tool usage recommendations).

The team of Occupational Therapists at Hand Works have specialised knowledge and skills to help restore function after an injury, surgery or the onset of a disabling condition. Intervention has a particular emphasis on providing education and modifications related to specific tasks and the environment. The ultimate goal of this is to enable maximum engagement and participation in meaningful occupations ie. to enable people to perform the functional tasks and daily activities they want and need to do, despite their injury or condition.

The Occupational Therapists at Hand Works are well equipped in evaluating how one interacts with his or her environment, and the manner in which they perform particular tasks. This is all viewed with a thorough understanding of anatomy, pathology, biomechanics and the physical and psychosocial demands that daily activities place on the body.

Education and recommendations on activity modification and work simplification are tailored to the individual, and can significantly vary depending on individual, occupational and environmental factors. To find out the right activity modifications and recommendations, please contact us for a consultation.

Scars can cause joint stiffness, tendon adhesions and may become cosmetically unappealing if not managed correctly. Professional scar and wound management is vital and the earlier the intervention the better the outcome.

Common scar-related issues we treat include scarring of aesthetic concern regions to patients especially face, décolletage, hand etc, history of keloid or hypertrophic scarring, risk of adhesions affecting mobility.

We can also address other risk factors that may contribute to poor would healing eg. signs of infection, poor nutrition or vitamin E, C and protein deficiencies, smoking and nicotine substitution, UV light exposure and occupational/environmental considerations.

Surgeons will likely utilise several sutures to secure wound edges together. Combinations of dissolvable and non-dissolvable sutures are often used. Once the wound has closed, our hand therapist will remove the patient’s sutures, usually between 10-14 days post operatively as requested. This is generally a simple and non-invasive procedure.

Kirschner wires, otherwise known as ‘K-wires’ are wires commonly used in orthopaedic or plastic surgery to secure a fracture, or to hold a joint in a good position. The K-wire can be inserted into a bone directly through the skins surface (leaving the head protruding through the skin) or buried under soft tissue. This type of fixation is commonly utilised for hand or finger injuries, as it is a relatively non-invasive method, and can provide adequate stability with minimal soft tissue exposure.

The patient’s K-wire will be required to stay in place for a period of time following surgery to allow structures to heal. The length of time will be decided by the surgeon, though is usually between 4-6 weeks. It will then need to be removed, which can be done by our Occupational Therapists if requested by the surgeon.

An orthosis is often recommended to be worn to protect the K-wires from being knocked, and to protect the healing structure. Our Occupational Therapists will discuss hygiene and care techniques with the patient, to keep the K-wires clean and to prevent infection.

At Hand Works we are specially trained in the use of techniques and tools to help reduce oedema rapidly and efficiently. The particular technique or tool used to help control oedema will depend on various factors, such as the type and location of oedema, the severity of oedema and how long oedema has been present for, as well as other personal factors including general health and presenting injury.