The added value of measuring thumb and finger strength when comparing strength measurements in hypoplastic thumb patients

HM Molenaar, Ruud Selles, Marjolein Kraker, Henk Stam, Steven Hovius

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Background: When interventions to the hand are aimed at improving function of specific fingers or the thumb, the RIHM (Rotterdam Intrinsic Hand Myometer) is a validated tool and offers more detailed information to assess strength of the involved joints besides grip and pinch measurements. Methods: In this study, strength was measured in 65 thumbs in 40 patients diagnosed with thumb hypoplasia. These 65 thumbs were classified according to Blauth. Longitudinal radial deficiencies were also classified. The strength measurements comprised of grip, tip, tripod and key pinch. Furthermore palmar abduction and opposition of the thumb as well as abduction of the index and little finger were measured with the RIHM. Findings: For all longitudinal radial deficiency patients, grip and pinch strength as well as palmar abduction and thumb opposition were significantly lower than reference values (P < 0.001). However, strength in the index finger abduction and the little finger abduction was maintained or decreased to a lesser extent according to the degree of longitudinal radial deficiency. All strength values decreased with increasing Blauth-type. Blauth-type II hands (n = 15) with flexor digitorum superficial Interpretation: The RIHM is comparable in accuracy to other strength dynamometers. Using the RIHM, we were able to illustrate strength patterns on finger-specific level, showing added value when evaluating outcome in patients with hand related problems. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)879-885
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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