Institution: Private Hand therapy practice Bologna Italy/ Consultant Hand Rehabilitation department Policlinico di Modena, Italy.
Years of experience in HT: 20.
Main areas in HT you’ve been working in:
Wrist and Hand Trauma/ Peripheral nerve injuries, congenital hand malformations
Main subjects that you’ve presented in a meeting?
Neuropropioceptive rehabilitation of the wrist.
Rehabilitation and evaluation of congenital hand malformations.
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy of the upper extremity.
Please, tell us more about you…
What was your first encounter with hand therapy?
It was 1992 and I had immigrated to Italy from America. I had been working as a consultant for an orthopaedic company that imported isokinetic machines into Italy and they were the first company to import the “Dexter” isokinetic and rehabilitation machine into Europe. I had to quickly begin re-studying anatomy and pathology of the hand inorder to set up rehabilitation protocols and from there… one page turned into another and within a year I was going back and forth to the USA to attend hand therapy courses and clinics in order to begin specializing in hand therapy and splinting.
What is the most important training you’ve had and where was it? Could you tell us some anecdotes about that?
The most important training… I can’t say one clinic or stage was more important than another since each specialized training course taught me a different aspect of hand therapy. But I must say that the Hand Therapy Philadelfia meetings were always excellent stepping stones for encouraging me to dig deeper and their workshops were excellent for teaching diverse rehabilitation techniques and their specific clinical applications.
In your opinion which is the book you think a hand therapist needs to have near her bed?
Without a doubt : Rehabilitation of the hand and upper extremity Surgery and Therapy: Skirven et al 6th edition
Which article do you think is the most essential for a hand therapist to read? What did you find in this article that you want to share?
It is impossible to narrow it down to one article; my suggestion to young therapists that want to enter in to the filed of hand and upper extremity rehabilitation to read as much as they can concerning hand and upper extremity pathologies; rehabilitation and anatomy; but read all articles at least twice and make sure they are not sponsored by a pharmaceutical company and that the results you are reading in the article can be upheld by evidence based medicine criteria.
Has your professional practice changed over the years? How did it use to be and how is it now?
My practice has grown (fortunately) what I feel has changed over the years is that; with years of experience I feel more secure and look to treat the patient in a much more global manner and when their pathology or symptoms are not responding to the protocol I am using, I am able to start thinking outside the box and call upon other medical disciplines to help in their global care.
In which projects are you involved in this moment?
At the moment I have just finished collaborating with two other European hand therapists in compiling a chapter for the instructional hand surgery therapy book on Dupytren’s disease that will be published for the FESSH 2015 congress;
I also am a consultant in a multidisciplinary clinic regarding the evaluation and rehabilitation of Upper extremity congential malformations – Policlinico di Modena Italy
I am on the scientific organizing committee for the FESSH/EFSHT 2015 congress in Milan. We have organized, for the first time ever, 2 days of workshops, where the therapists can chose 6 out of 18 workshops, on all different aspects of hand and upper extremity rehabilitation.
In your opinion which are the next highlights for HT in the coming years?
The Milan FESSH/EFSHT congress 2015
IFSHT 2016 Buenos Aires
Philadelfia meeting March 2015