Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Cindy Flom-Meland


Work-related traumatic hand injuries, injuries involving man and machine interaction, compression garments, iontophoresis, ultrasound, range of motion exercises.


Background and Purpose. Work-related traumatic hand injuries can range from minor cuts or burns to more serious injuries involving man and machine interaction. The hands are a vital part of daily life, and injuries to this area may present significant decreases in functional abilities. Because of the variance in severity and lack in specific research, this injury may pose a unique challenge to physical therapists.

Description. This case study describes the six-week outpatient physical therapy management of a 58-year-old male who sustained a hand contusion from a work-related injury. The patient presented with decreased strength, decreased range of motion, pain, and swelling in the dorsal right hand. The purpose of this case study is to explain the interventions utilized for the patient and evaluate the outcomes of those interventions.

Intervention. The treatment of this patient involved education, compression garments, iontophoresis, ultrasound, range of motion exercises, and gentle strengthening exercises.

Outcomes. Following physical therapy intervention, the patient achieved decreased pain, increased range of motion, and increased strength. The patient reported decreased swelling and increased ability to perform activities of daily living with his hand.

Discussion. Treatment was based on textbook information for the rehabilitation of hand and finger injuries, available research studies, and the patient’s current symptoms. Alteration and progression were based on the patient’s response.