Outcomes of an exercise program in patients with dorsal or volar midcarpal laxity: a cohort study of 213 patients

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PURPOSE: Describing the outcomes of an exercise program on wrist and hand function for patients with midcarpal instability (MCI).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study has a prospective cohort design. Two hundred and thirteen patients with MCI were included. The intervention was a 3-month exercise program consisting of hand therapy and home exercises. The primary outcome was perceived wrist and hand function evaluated with the Patient-Rated Wrist/Hand Evaluation (PRWHE) three months after treatment onset. Secondary outcomes were conversion to surgery, pain, and satisfaction with treatment results.

RESULTS: PRWHE total scores improved from 51 ± 19 (mean ± SD) to 33 ± 24 at 3 months (95% CI: 36-30, p < 0.001). All visual analog scales for pain demonstrated clinically relevant improvements at 6 weeks and 3 months ( p < 0.001). At 3 months, 81% of the participants would undergo the treatment again. After a median follow-up of 2.8 years, 46 patients (22%) converted to surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: We found clinically relevant improvements in hand and wrist function and pain. Most participants would undergo treatment again and 78% of the participants did not convert to surgery. Hence, non-invasive treatment should be the primary treatment choice for patients with MCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1825-1831
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
Early online date8 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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