Static Progressive Splinting for Restoration of Rotational Motion of the Forearm

Mike S. McGrath, Slif D. Ulrich, Peter M. Bonutti, David R. Marker, Henning R. Johanssen and Michael A. Mont

This study examined the use of a bidirectional, patient-directed orthosis that used the principles of static progressive stress to improve forearm rotation. Thirty-eight patients who had limited pronation and supination motions after injuries and who failed other physical therapy techniques underwent a 30- to 60-minute stretching protocol with the orthosis one to three times per day. The mean arc of rotation increased by 42 degrees after a mean treatment duration of 12 weeks.

The gains in motion were comparable to the published results of other orthoses as well as surgical procedures such as external fixators and closed manipulation, but fewer complications occurred with the static progressive stress technique. This orthosis is a useful treatment for patients who have limitations of forearm rotation.

Journal of Hand Therapy, 30 August 2008, online article ahead of print

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