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Occupational therapy - orthopaedics

Occupational therapists in the orthopaedic hospital treat both inpatients and outpatients of Balgrist University Hospital. External doctors can also prescribe these services for the benefit of their patients.

Specialist areas

In orthopaedics, the occupational therapists specialise in hand therapy, technical orthopaedics (prostheses/orthoses), and rheumatology.

Hand therapy

Patients come for hand therapy after an operation on the hand or elbow, or for conservative treatment. We work very closely with our hand surgeons. We are also happy to accept referrals from doctors outside the hospital.

Our services

  • Manufacture of dynamic and static splints
  • Manual therapies
  • Decongestive therapy (lymphatic system) 
  • Physical agents: ultrasound, TENS (electrical stimulation), laser, paraffin wax •
  • Desensitisation/sensory retraining 
  • Co-ordination and skills training 
  • Strength training

Technical orthopaedics

Technical orthopaedics includes prostheses, orthoses, spinal braces, and orthopaedic shoes. When patients have undergone amputation of the upper limb, occupational therapists assist with the handling and use of the arm/hand prosthesis. Patients with a lower limb amputation may have to use a wheelchair. Occupational therapy encourages a safe approach to wheelchair use and we discuss the home situation with the patient (home assessment and advice on available aids and appliances).


For people with rheumatology disorders, we offer advice on how to protect the joints, tailored to the needs of the individual patient. We look at specific everyday activities, determining areas of particular strain and how they can be reduced.

Ergonomic workplace assessments are offered by experienced occupational therapists. With the agreement of the employer, they will visit the place of work and carry out the necessary assessment.

Downloads (available only in German)