Physiotherapy After Volar Plating of Wrist Fractures Is Effective Using a Home Exercise Program

Gert D. Krischak, Anna Krasteva, Florian Schneiderb, Daniel Gulkina, Florian Gebhard, Michael Kramer,

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of 2 different postoperative therapy approaches after operative stabilization of the wrist fractures: treatment by a physical therapist with 12 sessions and an unassisted home exercise program.  After a 6-week period of postoperative treatment, the patients (n=23) performing an independent home exercise program using a training diary showed a significantly greater improvement of the functionality of the wrist. Grip strength reached 54%, and ROM in extension and flexion 79% of the uninjured side. Ulnar and radial abduction was also higher in this group. In contrast, patients who were treated by a physical therapist achieved grip strength equal to 32%, and ROM in extension and flexion of 52% of the uninjured side. Patients who were performing the home training after operation recorded an improved wrist function with a nearly 50% lower value in the PRWE score.

In the postoperative rehabilitation of wrist fractures, instructions in a home exercise program are an effective alternative to prescribed physical therapy treatment.

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009, 90(4), 537-44.

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