Department| Volume 19, ISSUE 4, P445-446, October 2006

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Prospective Outcome Study of 83 Distal Radius Fractures Treated by Hand Therapists

      Hypothesis or Purpose of the Study: The primary purpose of this study was to measure the outcome of patients with distal radius fractures treated with hand therapy. The second purpose was to compare pain and disability outcomes in this group with a previously reported outcome study of 275 patients. Number, selection criteria, and description of subjects: Over a 14-month period, all patients referred to Desert Hand Therapy in Phoenix, Arizona, with distal radius fractures were enrolled in a cohort study (n=83). Patients were excluded if they were referred for splint fabrication only and no therapy, declined to participate in the study, or sustained concurrent wrist or elbow pathology such as carpal fracture or elbow dislocation. The average age of patients was 49.5 years. In 38 cases the dominant wrist was fractured and in 45 cases the nondominant wrist was fractured. Fifty-seven patients were female and 26 were male. Patients completed an average of 13.3 treatment sessions from initial evaluation to discharge. The largest group, 33 patients (40%), were treated with open reduction using a volar plate and screws. Twenty-five percent were treated with closed reduction and cast, 14% with cast only and no reduction, 12% with percutaneous pinning and cast, 6% with dorsal plate and screws, and 3% with screw fixation and cast.
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