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Mary Morgan – Hand Surgery Patient Success Story

Look what we’ve got cookin’

Methodist Mansfield’s hand therapy hands back health to Mary Morgan

When it comes to making the perfect pie crust, they say it’s all in the touch. How you knead the dough, roll it, and even press it in to the pie pan with fingers and knuckles makes a difference.

Mary Morgan of Arlington would tell you the same. She’d also tell you she’s back to baking her perfectly crusted pies — not to mention her other hobbies of planting flowers and sewing — thanks to Methodist Mansfield Medical Center’s hand therapy program.

Mary MorganA sting and a tear

In October 2014, Mary was outside when a pesky bug landed on her left hand. She frantically tried to flick the bug off her hand, only to experience throbbing pain in her second and third fingers.

“It’s one of those things that you think will go away, but it didn’t,” Mary says. “It hurt all night long.

“I couldn’t bend my fingers without pain, and my fingers wouldn’t stay in place.”

Mary went to the emergency department at Methodist Mansfield.

It turned out that in shooing the bug away, she had torn the extensor tendon of her hand and would need surgery to repair it.

Richard Burkett, MD, reconstructive hand surgeon on the hospital’s medical staff, repaired the torn tendon in Mary’s hand, but then recommended hand therapy with Lara Gordon, OTR/L, CHT, occupational therapist.

Mary Morgan has things to do, like baking pies for her loved ones. Hand surgery and rehabilitation at Methodist Mansfield gave her the mobility and strength she needed to get back to them.

A plan for healing

“Since your fingers, hands, wrists, and elbows have vital functions in everyday activities, it’s no surprise that an injury causes a major disruption to your life,” Gordon says.

She started Mary on a therapy program of controlled, limited motion for the first couple of weeks after surgery.

“It was important to work closely with Mary’s surgeon and not overdo it,” Gordon explains. “If you do too much too soon, the tendon repair could tear.”

Mary’s goal was to regain motion in her fingers, including bending and gripping.

“I had things that I wanted to do — cook again for my church, sew my grandchildren’s costumes, and even work in the yard,” she says.

Special someones

It’s been several months since her surgery and hand therapy, but Mary can now bend her fingers and cook again.

“It took a lot of hard work, and I am so grateful to Lara for helping me get to where I need to be,” Mary says.

She’s cooking again for her church — meat, potatoes, salads, and, of course, pies — and her grandson has special requests, as well.

“He’ll say, ‘Granny, make me a chocolate pie, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and lots of gravy for me and my grandpa,’” she says with a laugh.

As for hand therapy, Mary recommends it for anyone living with pain.

“Lara has a great personality, takes time with you, and helps get your hands back where you can function again.”


Hand therapy at Methodist Mansfield can get you back to the activities you love. For more information, call 682-622-3299.


The Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Greater Therapy Center is located at 400 W. Arbrook Blvd., Suite 151, in Arlington. To schedule an appointment, call 817-472-8383.