Isobel Heppenstall qualified as a physiotherapist in 2000 at King’s College London. She gained her hand experience in the National Health Service where she held a number of senior posts. She has been a member of the British Association of Hand Therapists since 2003. Further details can be found at www.nutwoodtherapies.co.uk.
Isobel works directly with Mr Bhat and his team to enable patients to gain the maximum benefit from surgery with the minimum of swelling, pain, and stiffness.
Isobel deals with all aspects of hand injuries and surgery. Physiotherapy is offered in all of the following settings:
- Hand Clinic for initial assessment.
- Outpatient Physiotherapy.
- Advice and education
- Specific exercise programs
- Mobilisation of joints and soft tissues
- Electrotherapy for reduction of swelling and pain
- Scar Management
Isobel is Self Employed and offers to treat Mr Bhat’s patients from various locations to suit patients from different geographical areas. She runs a hand therapy service at her practice in Brockham, where she can see patients flexibly. She also sees patients at Gatwick Park Hospital.
Other Hand Therapists also work with Mr Bhat from time to time. In the NHS, he has appointed Joanne White as a full-time Hand therapist. Joanne is on maternity leave and partly replaced by Catherine Manley at East Surrey Hospital and Kelly at Crawley Hospital.
Physiotherapy for hand conditions is always aimed at making the hand as fully functional, pain-free and aesthetically pleasing as possible. Hand therapists have a wide experience in assessing problems and deciding on the priorities of treatment.
Treatment involves the following:
For some hand conditions, splints are required to achieve the best result. We use two types of splint:
Pre-made splints, such as wrist supports and finger supports, are ordered from medical suppliers. Custom-made splints are produced within our department. Thermoplastic materials are used which can be heated and moulded to allow an accurate fit. These can then be remodeled as necessary. In some cases, there is a small charge for splints.