News and Updates

Mallet Finger

June 1, 2017
Ruptured Extensor Tendon A mallet finger injury is suspected when the end of the finger is bent and cannot straighten actively. This injury can happen to anyone when an unyielding object (like a ball) strikes the tip of a finger or thumb and forces it to bend further than it is intended to go. This causes an injury to the tendon that straightens the end of the finger. Less often, the cause is a fracture at the bottom of the...
Filed under Hand Therapy \ Injury

New Specialist Clinic at Pegasus

April 10, 2017
New North Canterbury Hand Assessment Service Mr Ram Chandru (Orthopaedic Hand and Upper Limb Surgeon) in conjunction with the Merivale and Kaiapoi Hand Clinics is excited to announce a new combined hand assessment service for people living in the North Canterbury region. The new service located within the Pegasus Medical Centre in the Pegasus Township is held fortnightly on a Tuesday morning and allows GP’s to directly refer patients to Mr Chandru for an assessment and diagnosis of any hand, wrist...
Filed under General

Avenue Health & Mr Kirk Williams

February 9, 2017
In our last clinic newsletter we announced that Mr Barnaby Nye (plastic surgeon) had moved into his new purpose built consulting rooms at Avenue Health located at 202 Bealey Avenue. We have had a close working relationship with Barnaby over many years and are pleased to announce that we have extended this working relationship by offering clinics with his colleague at Avenue Health, Mr Kirk Williams (plastic surgeon). Kirk will conduct monthly clinics, run in conjunction with the Merivale Hand...
Filed under General

Mountain Biking and Injuries

February 9, 2017
Mountain biking is a popular recreational and competitive sport, appealing to a wide age group . Christchurch has an excellent array of tracks for all age groups and abilities including the flat and fast tracks of Bottle Lake forest and McLean’s Island, to the single track network and downhill runs in the Port Hills. In late 2016, a purpose built adventure park opened in the Port Hills and has proven to be very popular. As the sport gains popularity, an...
Filed under Sport

Case Study: Synovial Chondromatosis

January 29, 2017
A 66 year old woman presented to our clinic with a swollen, stiff and painful right thumb. On palpation over the painful interphalangeal (IP) joint it was obvious that there were small, hard, tender lumps. An x-ray confirmed soft tissue swelling with multiple, small, bony ossicles related to the joint space (Figure 1). These changes represent a benign condition related to the joint synovium, synovial chondromatosis. Synovial Chondromatosis affects a single joint, most commonly the large joints such as the elbow,...

Reducing the Incidence of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in Distal Radius Fractures

January 6, 2017
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a common complication of distal radius fractures (DRF), reported in studies as occurring in up to 25% of cases. It has the potential to turn a usually straight forward injury into a chronic, painful and debilitating condition. Ongoing symptoms and a lengthy rehabilitation period often result in high medical costs. In a recently published a study (2016) one hospital department showed how they reduced their incidence of CRPS post distal radius fracture from 25%...
Filed under Healing

Radial Nerve Palsy Splinting

November 20, 2016
While in Fiji, Jo and Nicky were able to share some splinting expertise with the Fijian therapists as they prepared to splint a patient with a Radial Nerve Palsy. A radial nerve palsy occurs when the radial nerve has been damaged in the arm - typically by compression or laceration, sometimes by fracture of the humerus. Nerve damage then results in an inability to extend (lift) the wrist or to straighten the fingers/thumb. The injured hand is floppy, able to grip...
Filed under Hand Therapy

Hand Therapy in Fiji

November 1, 2016
In June 2016, three of our therapists were fortunate enough to attend a hand therapy conference in Fiji. While there, Johanna and Nicky visited the physiotherapy department in Lautoka Hospital, which is approximately 30 minutes from Nadi. Although Lautoka is the second largest hospital in Fiji (Suva is the largest) it is far less well-equipped than western hospitals. The reason for this comes down to funding. Health expenditure per capita of population in NZ was last measured at USD$4000.00 per annum....
Filed under Hand Therapy

Dupuytren's Contracture

October 18, 2016
Dupuytren's contracture is a hand deformity that usually develops over years. The condition affects a layer of tissue that lies under the skin of the hand. Knots of tissue form under the skin, eventually creating a thick cord that can pull one or more fingers into a bent position (Figure 1). The affected fingers can't be straightened completely, which can complicate everyday activities such as putting hands in pockets or shaking hands. FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 Dupuytren's contracture mainly affects...
Filed under Hand Therapy

Wrist Fractures in the Older Person

July 5, 2016
Fractures of the wrist are a common injury especially fractures of the distal end of the radius. The radius is the larger of the two bones in the forearm and is in fact the most commonly broken bone in the arm. Once women reach middle age they are increasingly more likely to break their wrists than men. The rate of fractures climbs dramatically as women age. (See Figure 1) Three times as many women in their 50’s suffer serious, complex wrist...
Filed under Healing \ Injury \ Recovery
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