Conservative and Surgical Management of the Osteoarthritic Hand and Wrist

About the Course:
This intermediate-level course provides physical therapists and physical therapist assistants with a detailed overview of the pathophysiology and mechanics of the joints of the hand of those diagnosed with OA. The course offers practitioners in-depth knowledge of several of the most common medical and evidence-based practices and provides instruction for technique application in physical therapy examination and evaluation, as well as intervention. 

Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe the etiology and pathophysiology of osteoarthritis of the hand and wrist.
  • Describe the process and criteria for reaching a medical diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
  • Identify the goals and treatment options for managing osteoarthritis, including physical therapy examination and interventions.
  • Describe the management and treatment of osteoarthritis of the proximal and distal interphalangeal joints, including physical therapy interventions.
  • Describe the management and treatment of osteoarthritis of the carpometacarpal thumb joint, including physical therapy interventions.
  • Describe the management and treatment of osteoarthritis of the wrist, including physical therapy interventions.

About the Authors:
Teri Bielefeld Fagan, PT, CHT, is a graduate of the Program in Physical Therapy at Marquette University, Milwaukee. She was formerly employed at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee where she held the position of PT clinical hand specialist in the Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic for 35 years. Teri has been involved as a clinical instructor in the physical therapy programs at Marquette University, Carroll University, Concordia University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been a certified hand therapist since 1991 and has lectured nationally and internationally on numerous hand rehabilitation topics. Her publications include “The Unstable Metacarpophalangeal Joint in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Anatomy, Pathomechanics, and Physical Rehabilitation Considerations,” in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (2005), “The Carpometacarpal Joint of the Thumb: Stability, Deformity, and Therapeutic Intervention,” published in the same journal (2003), a monologue titled Hand Splinting for the American Physical Therapy Association (Orthopaedic Section), and a chapter in Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity, 6th edition, titled “Therapist’s Management of the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint with Osteoarthritis.” Teri served four terms as President of the Hand Rehabilitation Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and two terms as Treasurer, currently serving as the Bylaws Chairperson. Teri received the Marquette University 2000 Merit Award for distinguished professional achievement and the American Physical Therapy Association Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall Award for Clinical Excellence in 1998. She was named the Marquette University Physical Therapy Alumna of the Year in 1995, and she received an Outstanding Service Award from the National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin in 1992 and the M. P. Murray Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice from the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association in 1987.

Debbie Amini, EdD, OTR/L, CHT, FAOTA, is the director of professional development for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She received her bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy from Quinnipiac University, her master’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and her doctorate in education from North Carolina State University. A certified hand therapist since 1991, Dr. Amini worked as the director of an occupational therapy assistant program for 14 years before becoming an assistant professor of occupational therapy at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She served for 3 years as chair of AOTA’s Commission on Practice and is the author of several AOTA official documents. For several years, Dr. Amini wrote bimonthly print columns in Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners, including “Hands On” and “Inside Occupation.” Her articles have appeared in Advance for Directors in Rehabilitation, the PD-SIS quarterly newsletter, OT Practice magazine, and American Journal of Occupational Therapy. In addition to authoring online courses and textbook chapters, she has contributed the hand, wrist, and forearm component of the Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Individuals with Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses published by AOTA. Dr. Amini has presented at the AOTA, North Carolina Occupational Association, American Society of Hand Therapists annual conferences and has conducted regional 2-day workshops on the topics of hand therapy and authentic OT practice.

How to Receive Credit:
  • Read the entire course online or in print which requires a 5-hour commitment of time.
  • Depending on your state requirements you will be asked to complete:
    • A mandatory test (a passing score of 75 percent is required). Test questions link content to learning objectives as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory Course Evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.


Resolution of Conflict of Interest
Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non- Endorsement
It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

©2020: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.