This is the first prospective consecutive case series study that has examined the effectiveness of static progressive splinting in the management of persistent wrist stiffness following distal radius fracture. Eight patients, seven females and one male with a median age of 49 years (range, 43-56 years), participated in the study. Median time from surgical intervention to splint initiation was 77 days (range, 58-148 days). The median duration of splint use was 88 days (range, 21-180). Four subjects were followed for 6 months, and four were followed for 1 year. The median total passive sagittal range of motion of the wrist improved from 65 degrees to a median of 106 degrees at 12 weeks, to 115 degrees at 6 months and to 125 degrees at 1 year after splint initiation. The median disability scores for the arm, shoulder, and hand based on the DASH improved from 42 points to 19 points at 12 weeks, to 14 points at 6 months and at 1 year after splint initiation. The outcome measures of this prospective study indicate that static progressive stretch splints may be useful in treating persistent wrist stiffness following distal radius fracture especially when used early in the rehabilitation process.
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