Purpose of the Study: Osteoarthritis of the thumb carpometacarpal joint is a common problem causing impaired hand function. Orthoses provide external support to relieve pain, improve joint alignment, prevent further joint damage, and ultimately enable activities of daily living. However, there is no consensus by therapists providing orthoses for clients with thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis as to how many joints should be included in the orthosis. The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of two hand-based thermoplastic orthoses designed to relieve pain and stabilize the thumb carpometacarpal joint to enable individuals with thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis, with less than 20° of metacarpophalangeal joint hyperextension, to engage in activities of daily living.
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Short Description: Despite the prevalence and disabling effect of thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis, optimal orthotic management remains debatable. This study compared two orthoses—one stabilized only the carpometacarpal joint, the other additionally immobilized the metacarpophalangeal joint. Both reduced pain, improved grip/pinch, and hand function. However, participants preferred the less restrictive carpometacarpal-stabilizing orthosis.
© 2006 Hanley & Belfus. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.