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August 7, 2007 > A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand

Outpatient Rehabilitation Plays a Critical Role in Treatment

It's nearly impossible to go for more than a few moments during the day without using our hands. That's why not having full use of your hands can greatly impact your life. To better address patients' hand, wrist and elbow pain resulting from trauma, disease or injury, the Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center has recently begun implementing a comprehensive program to streamline the treatment process.
The program employs the expertise of a team of professionals, including experienced hand surgeons and occupational therapists, whose advanced training and clinical experience in conditions related to upper extremities allow them to better serve patients' specific needs.

Hands-on care

"Part of the program's goal is letting patients know that they don't have to suffer from hand pain - and to return them as quickly as possible to as functional a status as possible," explains the program's medical director, Basil Besh, M.D., whose fellowship training focused on treatment of the complex structures from the fingertips to the elbow. The program, Dr. Besh says, offers patients treatment options for a variety of conditions affecting the upper extremities, including: repetitive strain, carpal tunnel, sports injuries, arthritis and other degenerative diseases, as well as trauma, including fractures and severed nerves or tendons. The hand is one of the most complex pieces of the human body, especially when it comes to surgery. This is why hand surgery is a much more involved process and the recovery process is much lengthier than for other parts of the body. The occupational therapists at the center work with the physicians to help patients regain the functionality necessary to perform daily tasks often taken for granted, such as buttoning a shirt in the morning or typing on the computer. "As physical and occupational therapists, the staff members at the center are trained in movement dysfunctions," says Michael Scates, lead physical therapist at the center. "We perform thorough evaluations to identify patients' deficits and work on them. Tracking progress throughout treatment keeps patients motivated." One key to a smooth recovery for hand conditions is convenient access to treatment and cooperation between caregivers, according to Prasad Kilaru, M.D., a hand surgeon with the program who is also fellowship trained in treatment of the complex structures from the fingertips to the elbow. "You need to have local care, somebody to follow your treatment and communicate with the physician and get you back into the office if necessary to change the treatment course," Kilaru says. "A good relationship between caregivers is critical to better results."

Services for you

The Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center is a spacious, 8,700-square-foot facility featuring the latest in physical therapy equipment, including a heated therapeutic pool that is 30-feet wide and 60-feet long - one of the largest in Fremont. The center's goal is to provide patients with the most up-to-date therapeutic services and help the patient return to either their prior level of functioning or to increase their level of functioning. The center provides outpatient orthopedic physical therapy and outpatient occupational therapy. Services are provided by highly educated physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapy assistants and occupational therapy assistants, and all of the center's staff members stay abreast of the latest techniques and technology in their respective fields by regularly attending continuing education courses. To better serve patients, the therapists are supported by a friendly staff of aides and front office receptionists.The facility is equipped with both women and men's locker rooms, where the patients can safely store their belongings and enjoy a shower after their aquatic treatments. The facility also features five private treatment rooms, including two lumber/cervical traction units. The large exercise area includes a recumbent and upright bicycle, an upper body exerciser, therapeutic exercise balls, and a variety of stretching, strengthening and stabilization equipment for the upper extremities, lower extremities, and core regions of the body.Learn more Call (510) 794-9672 to learn more about the Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center's programs and services or visit Washington Hospital's Web site at, click on "Services & Programs" and select "Outpatient Rehabilitation Center" from the drop-down menu.

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