Flexor Origin Slide for Contracture of Spastic Finger Flexor Muscles: A Retrospective Study

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Contracture of the wrist and extrinsic finger flexor and pronator muscles is a common consequence of central nervous system disorders. The proximal release of the extrinsic flexor and pronator muscles was first described by Page and Scaglietti for a Volkmann contracture. The aim of the present study was to assess the amount of increase in extension and the improvements in global hand function that can be expected following this lengthening procedure in patients with central nervous system disorders.


A single-center retrospective review of patients with central nervous system lesions and contractures of the wrist and extrinsic finger flexor and forearm pronator muscles, causing aesthetic, hygienic, or functional impairment, was carried out. The Page-Scaglietti technique was used for all interventions. Before the operation, motor nerve blocks were used to distinguish between spasticity and contractures with surgical intervention only for contractures. The Zancolli and House classifications were used to evaluate improvements.


Data from fifty-four hands and fifty patients (thirty-five men and fifteen women) were evaluated. The mean duration of follow-up (and standard deviation) was 26 ± 21 months (range, three to 124 months). The mean gain (and standard deviation) in wrist extension with fingers extended was 67° ± 25° (range, −10° to 110°). Preoperatively, no hands were classified as Zancolli Group 1, whereas twenty-five hands were classified as Zancolli Group 1 at the latest follow-up review. Ten nonfunctional hands (rated as House Group 0 or Group 1) became functional as a supporting hand postoperatively. Zancolli and House classifications increased significantly (p < 0.01) postoperatively. In twelve cases, a partial recurrence of the deformity occurred. In seven of these cases, surgery unmasked spasticity or contracture of the intrinsic muscles, which required further intervention.


The Page-Scaglietti technique appears to improve range of motion and function in people with wrist and finger contractures due to central nervous system disorders.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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