A descriptive study on wrist and hand sensori-motor impairment and function following distal radius fracture intervention

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Study designDescriptive cross-sectional design.IntroductionWrist and hand sensori-motor impairment have been observed after distal radius fracture (DRF) treatment. This impairment and its relationship to function lack research.Purpose of the studyThe primary aim of this exploratory study was to determine the magnitude of wrist and hand sensori-motor impairment following surgical and non-surgical treatment among older patients following DRF. Secondary aims were to determine the relationship between wrist and hand sensori-motor impairment with function and pain as well as the relationships among wrist and hand sensori-motor impairment and function and age following DRF.MethodsTen Test (TT), active joint position sense (JPS), electromyography (EMG), computerized hand-grip dynamometer (CHD), and the Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation (PRWE) were used to assess twenty-four female participants 8 weeks following DRF treatment and their 24 matched-control healthy counterparts on wrist and hand sensibility, proprioception, muscle recruitment, grip force, muscle fatigue, and functional status.ResultsParticipants following DRF demonstrated significantly (p < .05) greater sensory (i.e., JPS, TT), and motor (i.e., EMG, CHD) deficits than their control counterparts. A significantly higher functional deficit (i.e., PRWE) also existed among participants following DRF than the control group. Participants following surgical and non-surgical DRF treatment were found to be statistically different only on total grip force. Group differences on JPS and total grip force revealed the strongest effect size with the highest correlations to PRWE. EMG and muscle fatigue ratio group differences revealed a weaker effect size with a fair degree of correlation to PRWE. Pain significantly correlated with sensori-motor function. Age did not correlate with any measured variable.ConclusionsSignificant wrist and hand sensori-motor impairment and functional deficits among older females 8 weeks following DRF surgical and non-surgical interventions were revealed. JPS and total grip force were the most clinically meaningful tests for assessing the sensori-motor status as well as explaining functional disability and pain levels for these patients.Level of evidence2c.

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