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Hand Therapy

Hand therapist and patient with hand in cast

Cook Children's hand therapy team focuses on the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries or conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand.) We help rehabilitate children and adolescents with a variety of congenital conditions and traumatic injuries.

Why choose Cook Children's hand therapists?

A hand therapist is a licensed or registered occupational or physical therapist. They have advanced training and experience in treating patients with conditions affecting the upper extremity. At Cook Children's, our hand therapists have additional specialization in treating children with congenital and acquired conditions of the upper extremity.

To obtain the Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) credential, a hand therapist must practice as an occupational or physical therapist for a minimum of three years. In that time, they must accumulate 4,000 hours of upper extremity experience. They must also pass a rigorous certification examination to demonstrate their competency in the practice of hand therapy.

Conditions we treat

  • Amputations
  • Arthritis and rheumatic diseases
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Burns
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Congenital hand differences
  • Flexor/extensor tendon injuries
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Muscle strains
  • Nerve injuries
  • Pain of the upper extremity
  • Wounds

Our team

Alexandra Hussey, OTR, MOT, is an occupational therapist who joined the Cook Children's hand therapy team in 2019. She received her master's degree in occupational therapy from TWU. Her scope of practice focuses on the treatment of congenital and acquired conditions affecting the pediatric upper extremity. Alex is passionate about facilitating independence in her patients through the use of a variety of therapeutic interventions, custom fabricated splints and orthotics and collaborative relationships with families.

Cara Smith, PT, CHT, MSHA, is the Hand Therapy program coordinator and has been with Cook Children's since 2015. After physical therapy school, Cara knew she wanted to pursue specialty certification and became a certified hand therapist in 2013. She has extensive experience working with children with congenital and acquired hand differences as well as traumatic injuries to the upper extremity. She is involved with local, regional and national hand therapy organizations and has had the opportunity to present on various topics related to hand therapy to her physical and occupational therapy colleagues.


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Meet Estrella. She was born without a radius bone in her left arm and missing a thumb. Thanks to surgery and hand therapy, Estrella has a new grasp on life.

We're here to help.

If you require a referral or your child has been recommended to us, you probably have lots of questions. We can help. If you would like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff, please call our offices at 682-885-4063.