AHTA Advanced Trauma Course

with benThuy, Sath and Lani recently attended the AHTA Advanced Trauma Course, from the 5th-7th September, held in Perth. Ben Cunningham and Barbara Hall were fantastic facilitators, and all participants benefited from their breadth of experience. Attendees travelled from all over Australia, and were from a wide variety of practice settings – tertiary hospitals, private clinics, regional and metropolitan areas, each with different speciality areas of their own. There was also a great turn out from Perth based therapists. All participants presented in pairs on an acute hand and upper limb trauma condition, with a focus on dynamic learning, group facilitation, information sharing, and recent literature evidence to support information presented. Topics included scapholunate ligament injuries, acute TFCC tears, radial forearm free flaps, zone 2 flexor tendon injuries, middle phalanx fractures, and ulnar nerve laceration, to name a few.

A few central themes emerged over the duration of the course. The focal theme being the importance of early active movement (EAM), and it’s relevance to Wolf’s Law. Participants were encouraged to consider the implications if EAM is not commenced in the early healing stages following surgical repair. Demonstration of orthosis fabrication from Ben Cunningham was particularly popular, with a practical application presented with each orthosis shown.

Overall, the course gave participants a thorough understanding of acute surgical hand and upper limb conditions, and imparted the ability to challenge the traditionalist immobilisation treatment protocol, and consider the benefits of EAM and maintenance of surrounding structures, to ensure good clinical outcome and avoidance of secondary complications. Many thanks to Ben Cunningham for sacrificing his Father’s Day to be here with us in Perth! The AHTA Advanced Trauma Course is highly recommended by Hand Works.

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