Occupational therapy: Lending a hand

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — You may not think about it much.. using your hands everyday for work. 

But after a local man received a serious injury to one of his hands, he’s more than aware of how important the use of his hands truly is. 

April is occupational therapy month and Dennis Champoux is taking the time to celebrate.

“I’ll never forget what she said. She said I cannot promise you you’ll get back to 100 percent but I’ll do everything in my power to get you as close to that as I can, and I was like good let’s get to work,” Dennis Champoux said. 

Champoux, Owner of local gymnastics gym Power & Grace, was preparing the gym for an upcoming competition when he fell off a ladder onto sheet metal. 

“My wife came up behind me and she says it is bad? And I said it’s bad. She said how bad? I said it’s really bad. She said how bad? And I said it’s hospital bad and she goes oh boy” Champoux said. 

Champoux severed five tendons in his hand and went in for surgery the next day.  

Now, less than two years later his hand is nearly back to normal. 

After recovering from surgery, Dennis underwent eight months of occupational therapy to gain his strength back. 

“They move everything and they manipulate all the tissue and the skin in there. All the typical grab and squeeze, dexterity things where you grab pinch, gotta twist and turn and you start to learn how to reuse those fingers and make those tendons work again,” Champoux said. 

Occupational therapist Kendra harms says his recovery is incredible. But it didn’t come without hard work.

“He came in with a pretty significant injury. When you severe tendons in your hand and they retract, and you have the amount of wound that he did, that’s a pretty significant hand injury,” Kendra Harms said. 

Harms says without occupational therapy his recovery could have gone much differently. But that’s not the only thing she credits. 

“His outcome specifically was very linked to his motivation and that fact that he took the time to be diligent with this program and to come in on a consistent basis,” Harms said. 

Champoux says while the process wasn’t easy, he’s thankful to have his hand back. 

“It’s not fun, but if you want to get your hand back and your life back the way it was as close as it can be you gotta do it,” Champoux said. 

To read more about occupational therapy, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


 

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