An Amazing Girl with an Amazing Case of Hand Therapy Working and Providing Improved Function at Desert Hand and Physical Therapy Laveen
Thanks to the hard work and collaboration of our pediatric therapist, Casey Blaesing, paired with the excellent care provided by Phoenix Childrens Hospital, Laveen clinic patient Loni has thrived and become much more functional with her congenital condition of amniotic band syndrome.
Loni was born with amniotic band syndrome resulting in various congenital deformities, including absence of a right thumb and varying sizes for the rest of her fingers. This has made grasping and pinching difficult. She has undergone multiple surgeries including reattachment of her left arm, separating two fingers on her right hand that failed to separate in utero, and transferring her second toe to be her new right thumb.
What brought her in to get treatment?
As Loni started to get older, it became increasingly difficult for her to learn age-appropriate developmental skills such as toileting, pre-writing, and dressing – all of which are necessary before going to preschool. Mom quickly realized Loni needed more focus on these skills so she could be on the same playing field as her peers.
How have you collaborated with parents to help her?
Both Loni’s mom and grandmother have been superhuman caregivers and are so involved in ensuring she receives the appropriate care. Every session, Loni’s therapist checks in with either caregiver to identify new goals and progress gets reassessed every month, especially as she continues to develop. Loni’s mom has also created an open channel of communication between Loni’s outpatient hand therapist and in-school occupational therapist. Each session, the therapist gives her caregivers new activities/tasks/strategies to incorporate into their home routine.
What are a few interventions that help?
TOYS and PLAY! Using preferred toys goes a long way when working with little ones. Therapists can manipulate the task at hand (no pun intended) to facilitate their desired goal of treatment. Specifically, Loni LOVES putty and playing with the clinic’s baby doll.
We also recently started using kinesiotape to facilitate more functional forearm rotation in her left arm, which took a little bit of buy-in from Loni herself 🙂
What are the splints you have constructed?
When she initiated therapy in 2021, we fabricated a custom wrist gauntlet for her left wrist to provide more support as she progressed her fine motor skills and general hand strength. Recently, we transitioned her to a custom forearm-based thumb spica to encourage more thumb opposition for functional pinching of her left fingers.
Loni has even had blogs and news posts about her recovery! Click HERE for access to the Phoenix Children’s website blog on her journey!
Do you have a child that needs therapy for the upper extremity? Our therapists at Desert Hand and Physical Therapy are experts in these conditions. Click HERE to request a new patient appointment!
To learn more about Casey, click HERE for her bio!