Answers to your most frequent questions can be found here. But if your question is not listed, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Do I need a referral?
Private patients do not need a referral to see a hand therapist. Patients with private health insurance ‘extras’ cover for occupational therapy will be able to claim a rebate for their consultation fee. HICAPs is available for on the spot processing of your consultation fee.
Workcover or Third Party Insured Patients
All Workcover or Third Party Insured patients require a written referral from the GP or surgeon. Please bring your claim number and insurer contact details to your first appointment.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Patients who are covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs will need a written referral (D904) from their GP or surgeon.
Patients who have a chronic medical condition may be eligible for a medicare rebate on our service if they have a chronic disease management plan or enhanced primary care plan in place. If you think you may be eligible speak to your general practitioner.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Please bring any referral letters, x-rays, scans or reports that are relevant to your condition. If you are under WorkCover, remember to bring your claim number.
Is hand therapy covered by Medicare?
Generally hand therapy is not covered by Medicare. If you have a chronic medical condition you may be eligible for a Chronic Disease Management Plan or E.P.C which entitles you to a Medicare rebate on up to 5 treatments per year. Your G.P. can determine your eligibility for this program and will write a team care plan if appropriate.
My surgeon gave me a referral, when do I come?
Therapy may be commenced as early as one day post operation depending on the type of surgery. Early advice from our therapists on exactly what to do and what not to do to care for your hand post operation helps avoid complications from swelling, stiffness and scarring. Your Hand Therapist will monitor and dress your wound to ensure it heals in the fastest possible time and if required, will also remove your sutures.
What to expect after surgery
At your first appointment post surgery your Hand Therapist will remove your bulky post surgical dressing and replace them with lighter dressings to allow gentle exercise or you may be fitted with a lightweight thermoplastic splint to protect the healing structures. The Bayside Hand Therapy team have a sound knowledge of hand surgical procedures to ensure that the prescribed exercise program is appropriate to the injury or condition.
Can anything be done for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A hand therapist can fit you with a night splint to provide relief of nocturnal symptoms, compression gloves to reduce swelling, nerve gliding exercises and advice on modifying your daily activities to avoid aggravation.
Can anything be done for arthritis in the hands?
Yes. Whilst there is no cure for arthritis, hand therapists can offer you a variety of solutions to help reduce the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and help you to perform your daily activities. Particularly if the thumb is affected, there is a range of splint options available which provide stability and pain relief. Compressive arthritis gloves can also reduce swelling, pain and stiffness. Hand therapists can also instruct you on exercises to maintain range of motion and strength, and teach you joint protection principles as well as advise on assistive devices which may help to make living with arthritis easier.
How long are the consultations?
Initial appointments at Bayside Hand Therapy are typically 30 – 60 minutes depending on the condition being treated.
Follow-up appointments are usually 30 minutes but extended appointments (45-60 minutes) may be necessary for complex injuries or conditions.
What is a Splint?
Splints/orthoses are frequently required after injury or surgery to protect healing structures such as fractures, tendon repairs or joint replacements. Our hand therapists are highly skilled in the design and fabrication of custom-made splints which are made from light-weight low temperature thermoplastic. These splints are much lighter and less bulky than plaster casts and can be removed to allow exercise and showers if appropriate to the injury. Bayside Hand Therapy also stocks a wide range of soft splints to help with arthritis and over-use conditions.
I think I have RSI can you help?
Yes! RSI was a term used to cover all over-use conditions. It is important to determine exactly which structures are involved, so that appropriate treatment can be provided, and measures can be taken to prevent it re-occurring.
Our hand therapists can help to give you an accurate diagnosis and tailor a treatment program specific to your needs.