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Celebrate Hand Therapy Week: June 3-9, 2013

Health, Wellness & You
Thursday, May 23, 2013

JEFFERSON COUNTY – During June 3-9, 2013, the Fort HealthCare Center for Hand Care will celebrate Hand Therapy Week. Hand Therapy Week is an integrated national program sponsored by the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT). ASHT is an organization comprised of hand therapy professionals around the world, dedicated to establishing clinical standards and promoting research in the hand therapy profession.

For one week, ASHT members bring the benefits of hand therapy into focus for the public and demonstrate the advantages of prevention and treatment procedures for individuals who have been affected by an accident or trauma.

It is easy for people to take the full function of their hands for granted. Perhaps thousands of times each day we reach, touch, hold, point and lift with these essential parts of the body. Therefore, any loss of function through injury or disease can devastate lives.

The goal of the Fort HealthCare Center for Hand Care program is to provide seamless, efficient, and coordinated care that restores injured hands to the highest possible level of function. The collaborative approach to the evaluation and treatment of hand and upper extremity conditions offers innovative treatment techniques, proactive, patient-centered care, all in one location.

The Fort HealthCare hand care team consists of James Bruno, MD of Fort HealthCare Orthopaedic Associates, occupational therapists, three Certified Hand Therapists, nursing staff and an industrial injury case manager. Dr. Bruno is one of the expert orthopedic surgeons at Fort HealthCare Orthopaedic Associates. His partners are Isidoro Zambrano, MD, and Thomas Nordland, MD.

The team collaborates with therapists located at Fort HealthCare Therapy & Sport Center locations in Fort Atkinson, Whitewater and Lake Mills to ensure patients the ability to be cared for close to their home. Industrial case management services are available to patients and area employers to ensure optimal outcomes and rapid return-to-work plans.

Certified hand therapists are Kelly Brunson, OTR, CHT, Ann Kutz, OTR, CHT, and Sara Wilde, OTR, CHT. The hand therapy team utilizes a dedicated work space, state-of-the-art rehabilitative equipment and treatment practices. If specialized splinting is required, most splints can be fabricated on site. The team frequently manages worker’s compensation cases, attempting to facilitate a smooth transition back to work. If surgery is required, it can often be completed in one day at Fort Memorial Hospital in Fort Atkinson.

Hand joints and structures are very complex, and require specialized treatment at times. Certified Hand Therapists (CHT) develop special home programs for their patients that can include: ways to prevent injury, joint protection techniques, custom splinting, stretches, exercises, and advice on use of ice and heat for pain.

Typical conditions treated at the Center for Hand Care include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, wrist
and hand pain, sprains, upper extremity numbness, tendonitis, arthritis, joint dislocations and fractures, as well as tendon and ligament injuries. Many of these conditions can develop over time or are due to injury. In the workplace, many of these ailments can occur as a result of repetitive motion, lifting, moving, or a worksite accident.

The Center for Hand Care offers personalized care, state-of-the-art equipment, an electronic medical records system, on-site digital radiography, innovative treatment methods and  rehabilitation tools all under one roof. In one appointment, a person can meet with a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and a CHT. Staff can also assist with any necessary insurance pre-certification, setting up tests or appointments, touring the facility, coordinating follow-up care with a primary care doctor, and answering any questions.

Dr. Bruno has over 20 years of experience performing orthopedic surgery, with a special interest in treating hand pain, and performing hand surgeries. He has had many successful outcomes with his patients, getting them back to their favorite activities and their hands at full functional use.

The CHTs have achieved the highest level of certification a therapist can obtain in the treatment of hand and upper extremity conditions.  The certification process involves extra years of practice in hand and upper extremity rehab, as well as successfully passing a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper arm, shoulder and hand rehabilitation.

If you are experiencing pain or numbness in the hands or arms, consider visiting the Fort HealthCare Center for Hand Care. The hand care team can see patients by appointment with or without a referral. To make an appointment, call 920-563-7888 or visit to watch a video about the program, hear from our patients, and learn more.

Fort Memorial Hospital is a modern, fully accredited, acute care facility with 82 licensed beds. More than 100 physicians are on staff. Fort Medical Group clinics offering primary and specialty surgical care are located in Fort Atkinson, Cambridge, Johnson Creek, Jefferson, Lake Mills and Whitewater. Fort HealthCare is a partner in the University of Wisconsin Cancer Center at Johnson Creek and in the Advanced Pain Management Fort Atkinson ambulatory surgery center. Most major health insurance products are accepted. For more information, please go to

PHOTO: Fort HealthCare orthopedic surgeon, James Bruno, MD (center) with some members of his team. From left to right: Kelly Brunson, OTR, CHT; Lisa Weber, LPN; James Bruno, MD; Ann Kutz, OTR, CHT; Sara Wilde, OTR, CHT; and Shari Bolger, OTR, CHT.