The purpose of this study was to describe changes in range of motion, grip strength, and function in subjects treated with static progressive splinting for stiffness after distal radius fracture. A retrospective review was conducted on 25 patients; outcomes reviewed included wrist/forearm motion, grip strength and Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) scores. The Wilcoxon-Signed Rank test was used to assess differences between pre-/postsplinting outcome measurements. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated for the DASH scores with each of the other measurements. Wrist extension and flexion improved 18.6 (p < 0.0001) and 11.4 degrees (p < 0.0001), respectively. Forearm pronation and supination improved 20.0 (p < 0.0001) and 14.5 degrees (p < 0.0001), respectively. Grip strength improved 24.5 pounds (p = 0.0012). The median DASH score improved from 43 to 19 (p > 0.0001). DASH scores demonstrated a significant negative correlation with wrist extension (r = -0.50, p = 0.011) and forearm supination (r = -0.47, p = 0.02). Increased wrist extension and supination correlated with better functional outcome as reflected by the DASH scores. © 2008 Hanley & Belfus.
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