Relative active motion programs following extensor tendon repair: A pilot study using a prospective cohort and evaluating outcomes following orthotic interventions

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Study design:

Prospective cohort.


The Immediate Controlled Active Motion program, used to manage extensor tendon repairs in the hand, immobilizes the wrist in an orthosis with the affected finger(s) placed in a separate yoke orthosis allowing controlled flexion.


To compare our outcomes using similar programs in patients with simple extensor tendon lacerations to those previously reported. To compare our 4-week orthotic intervention to our 6-week orthotic intervention.


18 subjects received a 4-week orthotic intervention, 45 subjects received a 6-week orthotic intervention. Range of motion was measured 4, 6 and 8 weeks post-repair, grip strength at 6 and 8 weeks, and patient-rated outcomes at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks post-repair.


Significant improvements in all outcomes were seen over time (p < 0.0001), with no significant differences between programs.


Outcomes were comparable with those previously published and similar between the 4-week and 6-week orthotic interventions.

Level of evidence:


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