Efficacy of Splinting Variations in Two Different Treatment Protocols in Trigger Thumb

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Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate the comparative final outcome of two different conservative treatment protocols for trigger thumb using three different types of splints with varying restrictions of interphalangeal (IP), metacarpophalangeal (MCP), and carpometacarpal (CMC) joint motions of the thumb and with additional exercise programs.

Materials and Methods: Twenty-nine patients with 43 trigger thumbs were included in this study. Participants were divided into two treatment protocol groups and used three different types of thumb splints (1 daytime consistent to both groups and 2 different nighttime) with an additional exercise program and connective tissue manipulation (CTM). Patients were seen for follow-up after 10 weeks of the treatment; the preoutcome and postoutcome measures were assessed by stages of stenosing tenosynovitis (SST) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The data were analyzed to determine the efficacy of splint protocol intervention in relation to each other.

Results: After using the thumb splints, there were statistically significant improvements in both SST and VAS scores in both groups (P < 0.05). This study demonstrates the benefit of splint usage and an additional exercise program with CTM in the conservative treatment of trigger thumb.

Conclusions: Keeping in mind that splint 3 was used with both groups, splint 1 of the night splints that limited IP, MCP, and CMC joint flexion and extension was found to be more effective for conservative treatment in trigger thumb.

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