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  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapist Assistants
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
  • Teri Bielefeld Fagan, PT, CHT
  • Debbie Amini, EdD, OTR/L, CHT, FAOTA (Original)
Peer Reviewer(s): Diane Coker, PT, DPT, CHT
Item#: Q3490
Contents: 1 Course Book (76 pages)
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Conservative and Surgical Management of the Osteoarthritic Hand and Wrist: A Physical Therapy Perspective

Price $29.95
Item # Q3490
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Expiration Date: August 28, 2018

This intermediate-level course provides a detailed overview of the pathophysiology and mechanics of the joints of the hand of individuals diagnosed with OA. In-depth information is presented on the medical diagnosis of OA, including the criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology, the distinction between primary and secondary OA, the taking of a client history, and the physical examination. The management goals and treatment options in managing OA are discussed, including conservative medical management, pharmacology, physical and occupational therapy interventions, and surgical options.


Texas PTs & PTAs - This activity is provided by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners Accredited Provider #1911021TX and meets continuing competence requirements for PT & PTA license renewal in Texas.

California PTs & PTAs – Approved by the Physical Therapy Board of California through Net Education Design, Inc., an agency recognized by the board to approved courses that meet Physical Therapy Regulations 1399.96.

Ohio PTs & PTAs – Approved by the Ohio Physical Therapy Association, Approval #17S5838

Florida PTs & PTAs – The Florida Board of Physical Therapy accepts this course based on its pre-approval by the Ohio PT Association.

Course Objectives

  • 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.

Teri Bielefeld Fagan, PT, CHT, is a graduate of the Program in Physical Therapy at Marquette University, Milwaukee. She has recently retired from the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee after holding the position of PT clinical hand specialist in the Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic for the past 35 years. Teri is 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 APTA (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 has twice served as president of the Hand Rehabilitation Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and is currently serving as their treasurer. 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 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 AJOT. 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, NCOTA, and ASHT annual conferences and has conducted regional 2-day workshops on the topics of hand therapy and authentic OT practice.


Diane Coker, PT, DPT, CHT, is a physical therapist in Southern California. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and her doctorate from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 2007. She has specialized in hand therapy since 1989 and became a certified hand therapist in 1991. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at Loma Linda University, teaching the basics of hand therapy to entry level DPTs. She is a frequent lecturer at national and international conferences on multiple topics relating to the field of hand therapy.  

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.