Thursday, 30 January 2014 13:10

Snow Blower Injuries on the Rise

Cortlandt Manor, NY - (January 30, 2014) –Hudson Valley residents have had to clear away a lot of snow this winter, resulting in many opportunities for winter accidents.

While snow blowers are an essential tool at this time of year, their use also results in many hand injuries.

Dr. Ari Mayerfield of Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s Hand Center said that every year he sees patients who suffer from a variety of injuries sustained from snow blowers.

“Due to the improper handling of these machines, patients suffer from fingertip injuries, fractures, lacerations and amputated digits,’’ said Mayerfield, a surgeon who specializes in injuries to the hand and upper extremity. Dr. Mayerfield works with hand therapists at the hospital’s Center for Rehabilitation to help those injured return to normal function.

Dr. Mayerfield said he would prefer to see people avoid injuries to start with. He said that a majority of injuries with snow blowers are caused when people try to clear clogs in the exit chute without turning off the machine.

“When snow becomes clogged in the exit chute of the machine, it causes a jam. The operator will then inspect the blower, and this is when the majority of injuries occur. The operator's hand will come in contact with the rotating blades while using his/her hand to clear the snow,” he said.

He suggested that snow blower users follow these tips:
• Turn off the machine
• Wait for a minute to give the blades time to stop rotating
• Keep your hands clear of the exit chute and blades
• NEVER use your hands to clear the snow - use a stick to clear the clogged chute
• Keep snowblower safety shields in place
• Never allow children to use the snowblower

Nefretiri Butcher, an occupational therapist with HVHC’s Hand Center, said even those who use low-tech snow removing equipment are subject to injuries of the hand and back if they don’t take proper precautions. She suggests that those shoveling snow should follow these tips:

• Shovel fresh snow: Fresh powdery snow is easier to shovel than the wet, packed-down variety.
• Push the snow as you shovel: It's easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.
• Don't pick up too much at once: Use a light shovel (e.g. aluminum). Use a small shovel, or fill only one-fourth or one-half of a large one.
• Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and "sitting" into the movement, you'll keep your spine upright and less stressed. Your shoulders, torso and thighs can do the work for you.

If you have a hand or wrist issue either routine or emergency, you can contact Dr. Mayerfield at (914) 293-8700. If you need hand therapy call the Hand Center at 914-734-3251.


Hudson Valley Hospital Center is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the community and to providing quality, comprehensive medical care in a compassionate, professional, respectful manner, without regard to race, religion, national origin or disease category. Offering state-of-the-art diagnostic treatment, education and preventive services, the Hospital is committed to improving the quality of life in the community. In fulfilling this mission, the Hospital will strive to continuously improve the care provided and develop and offer programs, facilities, systems and alliances that most effectively respond to community health care needs. Hudson Valley Hospital Center is located on Route 202 (1980 Crompond Road) in Cortlandt Manor, New York. Call 914-737-9000 or visit

Published in Press Releases
Friday, 13 December 2013 15:47

Hand Center at Hudson Valley Hospital Center

At the Hand Center at Hudson Valley Hospital Center we specialize in treating hand injuries and conditions of the hand and upper extermity. From workplace injuries to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries, we are the experts in surgical and non-surgical treatments for disorders of the hand, wrist or elbow. From surgery to rehabilitation, our team provides a comprehensive program to help you recover faster.

In addition to our skilled physicians, orthopedic specialists and surgeons, HVHC has a Center for Rehabilitation with three licensed occupational therapists and one certified hand therapist who have intricate knowledge of upper extremity function and structure. They work with patients to prevent injury or impairment, restore gross and fine motor skills, and enhance participation in activities of daily living. Our Center for Rehabilitation is a member of the Hospital for Special Surgery Network so you know you are getting the most advanced treatment.


For additional information about the Hand Therapy Program or to schedule an appointment, please call: 914-734-3251.

Our Team

Dr. Ari Mayerfield specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and injuries of the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow in patients from infants to adults. A graduate of Cornell and Harvard Universities and the Sackler School of Medicine, Dr. Mayerfield completed his fellowship at the world-renowned Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery where many firsts in hand surgery were performed including the first hand transplant performed in the United States, the first successful technique for primary flexor tendon repair, as well as many others.

He has specialized training in the minimally invasive treatment of diseases involving the hand, wrist, forearm and elbow. These include arthroscopy, endoscopic techniques, enzymatic treatments and microsurgery, all of which expedite recovery and minimize downtime.

Conditions and injuries he treats include, but are not limited to:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve compression (i.e., ulnar nerve/cubital tunnel)
- Sports injuries, fractures and dislocations
- Ligament injuries (sprains), tendon injuries, tendonitis (trigger finger, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, and De Quervain's tendonitis)
- Ganglion cysts, nerve injuries, arthritis and stiff joints
- Dupuytren's contracture, infection, vascular disorders, and brachial plexus injuries.
- Special interests include upper extremity trauma and sports injuries, post-traumatic reconstruction, tendon disorders, peripheral neuropathy, arthroscopy, and microsurgery.

Dr. Mayerfield has performed over 2,000 surgeries, including over 700 cases exclusively involving the upper extremity and specializes in the treatment of diseases of the hand, wrist, elbow, peripheral nervous system, as well as microsurgery. His practice is focused on restoring hand and upper extremity function through both non-surgical and surgical means, and helping patients get back to enjoying the activities of daily life. The majority of patients he treats ultimately do not require surgery. To make an appointment with Dr. Mayerfield, call 914-293-8700.

Dr. Mayerfield attended Cornell University (B.S. 1999) and Harvard University before attending the Sackler School of Medicine (M.D. 2007). He is an Assistant Professor of Hand Surgery at New York Medical College and a candidate member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He completed his General Surgery training at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the highest volume trauma residency program in Chicago, where he was awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’. Following graduation, he went on to complete a fellowship at the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery at the University of Louisville. During his training, Dr. Mayerfield authored a book chapter on alternative imaging modalities of the Hand, and researched a new surgical technique for treatment of wrist instability.

Hudson Valley Hospital Center has Certified Hand Therapists on staff


This certification is voluntary and difficult to attain. To obtain certification in hand therapy, a therapist must have 5 years of clinical experience as an Occupational or Physical Therapist, including 4,000 or more hours in direct practice of hand therapy. The therapist must pass a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation. In addition, a therapist is required to demonstrate continued professional development and competency by re-certifying every 5 years.

The Certified Hand Therapy credential offers assurance to the public that a therapist has achieved the highest level of competency in hand therapy and stays up to date with practice within the field.

For additional information on the Certified Hand Therapist click here.



Tuesday, 31 May 2011 16:06

Types of Therapy

The Center for Rehabilitation at Hudson Valley Hospital Center offers a wide range of physical and occupational therapies. Appointments can be made at the location of your choice. Among our specialized services:

Vestibular Rehabilitation: Vestibular problems -- including vertigo, dizziness and imbalance -- make daily life difficult, and contribute to falls and accidents. A combination of exercises to improve balance can help decrease feelings of dizziness. Patients are also educated on the best ways to manage symptoms so they can more safely engage in activities like climbing stairs and driving.

Vestibular Therapy is offered at our Hudson Valley Hospital Center and Croton locations.


Hand TherapyHand Therapy: Does it hurt to use the computer, swing a tennis racquet or even lift a cup of coffee? Hand therapy can help restore function and reduce pain in patients with conditions affecting the hands, wrists and elbows. Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, tendon and nerve injuries, fractures, arthritis, and other conditions can all benefit. The program combines exercise, manual therapy and education to help patients increase motion, dexterity, and strength. Custom splinting is also available. Our team includes certified hand therapists – professionals who have completed advanced coursework and 4,000 or more hours in direct hand experience. For more information on the Certified Hand Therapy Credential, please visit:

Hand Therapy is at PT & OT at HVHC.



Joint Replacement TherapyJoint Replacement Rehabilitation: Following replacements of knees or hips, physical therapy is essential to help patients regain mobility, strength and range of motion. A progressive exercise plan, combined with other therapies, can help strengthen muscles and ligaments around the joint replacement and reduce swelling. Some patients may also benefit from occupational therapy designed to help with activities such as bathing and dressing.

Joint Replacement Therapy is offered at Hudson Valley Hospital Center.


Lymphedema Therapy: Patients suffering from lymphedema – swelling that occurs when lymph fluid fails to drain properly – can benefit from an individualized therapy program. A combination of techniques, including exercise, compression bandaging and manual drainage, work together to reduce swelling, improve skin condition and get patients moving more comfortably. The therapy can address lymphedema related to trauma, cancers or vascular conditions.

Lymphedema Therapy is offered at  Hudson Valley Hospital Center .


Women’s Incontinence Therapy: Surgery isn’t the only answer for urinary incontinence. Our physical therapists are changing the lives of women dealing with incontinence with therapy programs that may include exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles, bladder training and biofeedback. A therapy program can reduce embarrassing “accidents” and help women regain control they may have lost because of childbirth, aging or certain traumas.

Women’s Incontinence Therapy is offered at  Hudson Valley Hospital Center.


Hudson Valley Hospital Center
Published in Croton