What’s Old is New Again

“Gary was awesome. Not only is he a wonderful man, but he’s a true testament to the fact that if a patient follows through and does their homework, the outcome is that much better.”

Gary Cosper holds up his right hand to show off the scar below the base of his middle finger. He’s proud of that scar because he is now able to touch the palm of his hand with the middle finger. There was a time when he couldn’t do this simple thing.

Cosper had a 33-year career in the Navy, much of that time spent on an aircraft carrier. He developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. He underwent two operations on each hand to get rid of the carpal tunnel, but he had waited too long. It was almost irreversible and this was what he believes is what caused the contracture of his fingers. His surgery is called a tendon release, after which it was recommended he have therapy. That’s when Cosper met occupational therapist, Dana Robinson, who practices at Rehab Care Goldie Street.

“When Gary came to me, his locked finger had been released, but he couldn’t make a fist, or hold a pen or a fork,” says Robinson.

Cosper attended therapy twice a week for 45-minute sessions for several weeks. Robinson suggested they work on trying to reduce the stiffness in his hand with heat and soft tissue massage. This loosened up the scar tissue.

“In order to enhance the treatment, it’s the patient’s job to follow through with the exercises,” Robinson says.

“Gary was awesome. Not only is he a wonderful man, but he’s a true testament to the fact that if a patient follows through and does their homework, the outcome is that much better.”

“The exercises she put me through were exactly what I needed,” Cosper says.

“She used golf balls, had me playing with putty and used other technologies like this deal that heats up and blows around some kind of nut shells, which you grab in handfuls. The heat in conjunction with the grasping really helped me a lot. Her knowledge level and her willingness to spend the time that was necessary to get my hand back in shape were just marvelous.”

The scar tissue softened and now Cosper has full movement of all his fingers.

“The speed at which it healed me was amazing. I’m feeling brand new again.”