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Hand Program

As the only dedicated pediatric hand program in Orange County, we offer comprehensive consultation, treatment and rehabilitation for congenital or acquired hand conditions. Led by Dr. Mark Halikis, we are among the foremost experts in the reconstruction of children’s hand deformities, with microsurgical toe-to-hand transfers and complex microsurgical reconstruction of the forearm, wrist and hand.

Approximately one in every 600 babies is born with an abnormality of the upper limbs. These children often experience problems related to the shape and function of the hands. Because the hand is such a delicate balance of working parts, even minor abnormalities or injuries may cause a significant decrease in hand function. Common concerns that are addressed include the child’s hand appearance, how the child develops skills and how the child feels about his or her hand as well as how the hand affects the parents. Our goal is to improve the aesthetics as well as function of the hand.

All babies born with congenital hand differences should be evaluated by a hand specialist to make an individual assessment of the type. Because there are so many different congenital hand differences, it is important for a child to be evaluated by a hand surgery specialist to help determine if any treatment is needed.

Congenital hand differences include:

•    Syndactyly (webbed fingers)
•    Polydactyly
•    Hypoplastic thumbs
•    Longitudinal deficiencies
•    Radial club hand
•    Contractures
•    Arthrogryposis (multiple joint shortening)

Services and conditions treated also include:

•    Fracture/crush injuries
•    Nerve injuries
•    Soft tissue injuries
•    Post-traumatic reconstructions
•    Tendon repairs
•    Tendon transfers
•    Distraction lengthening

A certified hand therapist (CHT) who is also an occupational therapist focuses on functional recovery from an upper-extremity injury or disease. Treatment programs are individualized to meet the goals of each of our patients—and this is achieved through close communication between the referring physician, the hand therapist and the patient and his or her family.

Common treatments provided by our hand therapists are:

•    Splint fabrication: static, dynamic/progressive, fracture bracing
•    Joint range of motion/stretching
•    Strengthening
•    Pre-op hand evaluation
•    Functional skills training
•    Assistive equipment
•    Various therapies (hot/cold packs, paraffin wax dips, etc.)
•    Postoperative rehabilitation

For more information on our hand program, call the Orthopaedic Institute at (888) 770-2462 and press 2 for specialty care clinics.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine