Hand function response to static progressive splinting in post-burn finger contracture
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Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
Submission date: 2021-02-02
Acceptance date: 2021-04-08
Publication date: 2022-03-29
Physiother Quart. 2022;30(1):68-72
Restoring hand function is an important determinant of the quality of life in victims of burns. The purpose of the study was to determine the changes in the functional outcome when applying a flexion static progressive splint on the metacarpophalangeal joints of the contracted fingers after a burn injury.

This study included 60 patients referred to the hand therapy clinic 6 months after the injury. They presented with a burn on the dorsal portion of the hand with limited flexion range of motion in the metacarpophalangeal joints. The participants were randomly assigned to 2 groups (30 patients each). Group A (splint group) were treated with custom-made static progressive flexion splints. Additionally, they received physical therapy and medical treatment throughout the study period (8 weeks). Group B (control group) received physical therapy and medical treatment only. The burned hand was evaluated before and after treatment by measuring the metacarpophalangeal passive range of motion, determining grip strength, and employing the Jebsen-Taylor hand function test to assess the overall hand function.

A statistically significant increase in all variables occurred in both groups after the intervention, with a higher increase in group A. In groups A and B, the p-values of passive range of motion were 0.001 and 0.784, of grip strength 0.023 and 0.608, and of Jebsen-Taylor hand function test 0.048 and 0.411, respectively.

Static progressive splint coupled with physical therapy can optimally improve hand function in patients with restricted metacarpophalangeal flexion passive range of motion after burn injuries.

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