Hand Therapy


Donna Canavan, Hand TherapistThe Hand Therapy Center provides a comprehensive approach for the treatment and rehabilitation of hands and upper extremities. Services include custom orthotics, exercises, modalities, work conditioning and functional capacity evaluation.

All types of injuries/diseases of the hand and upper extremity are treated, which may include but are not limited to fractures, amputations, replants, nerve compression syndromes, tendon and nerve injuries and joint replacement.


The Center team includes four certified hand therapists and one clerical staff. All four therapists are registered occupational therapists. The team works closely with the referring physicians to provide the best quality care possible.


Eligibility for hand certification requires over 4,000 hours of hand experience and five years practice as a registered therapist. The Hand Therapy Center certified therapists have 15-30 years of experience specializing in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation. All therapist are registered occupational therapists and are members of the American Society of Hand Therapy.


The Hand Therapy Center opened in 1989 and provides approximately 5,000 patient visits annually. When the Center opened, the closest dedicated hand therapy centers were in Indianapolis, St. Louis, Chicago, and Louisville. It was originally located in Memorial Medical Center on the 3rd floor as part of SIU Surgery Clinic. Since 1993, it has been located on the 3rd floor of the Baylis Medical Building, at the corner of Rutledge and Miller Streets.


The Hand Therapy Center sees patients of all ages, from infant to adult. It serves patients mostly from central and southern Illinois.

A physician referral is required. To refer to Hand Therapy call #217-545-0885. For referral to an SIU hand specialty physician, please call #217-545-6314.

Norma Murphy ArrasNorma Murphy Arras

Assistant Professor
Institute for Plastic Surgery
Director, Hand Therapy Center

Donna C. CanavanDonna C. Canavan
Assistant Professor
Senior Hand Therapist
Institute for Plastic Surgery

Wendy E. GergerWendy E. Gerger
Hand Therapist
Institute for Plastic Surgery