Rehabilitation strategies for wrist sensorimotor control impairment: From theory to practice

Published:December 11, 2015DOI:


      This clinical review discusses the organization, neuroanatomy, assessment, clinical relevance, and rehabilitation of sensorimotor (SM) control impairment after wrist trauma. The wrist SM control system encompasses complex SM pathways that control normal wrist active range of motion and mediate wrist joint neuromuscular stability for maintaining joint function. Among various known assessment methods of wrist SM control impairment, the active wrist joint position sense test is determined to be a clinically meaningful and responsive measure for wrist SM control impairment after wrist fracture. Wrist trauma may involve significant soft tissue injury (ie, skin, ligament, muscle), which could disrupt the generation and transmission of adequate proprioceptive input from wrist mechanoreceptors, thus leading to significant joint SM impairment. Various clinical examples of wrist trauma (eg, distal radius fracture, scapholunate joint injury) along with known prognostic factors (eg, pain) that may influence wrist SM control impairment recovery are discussed to illustrate this point. This article proposes promising rehabilitation strategies toward restoring wrist joint conscious and unconscious SM control impairments, integrating current research evidence with clinical practice. These strategies require more rigorous evaluation in clinical trials.

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      JHT Read for Credit

      Quiz: #417

      Record your answers on the Return Answer Form found on the tear-out coupon at the back of this issue or to complete online and use a credit card, go to There is only one best answer for each question.
      • #1.
        The design of the study was a
        • a.
          retrospective cohort
        • b.
          prospective cohort
        • c.
          case series
        • d.
          systematic review
      • #2.
        The JPS has been determined to be the most clinically useful test in assessing _____________ following DRF
        • a.
          grip-release function
        • b.
          the DTM
        • c.
          strength of the ECRB and FCR
        • d.
          sensori-motor status
      • #3.
        With the patient blinded the JPS asks the patient to
        • a.
          actively reproduce a specific grip strength on the Jamar dynomometer
        • b.
          actively go through the full arc of the DTM
        • c.
          actively reproduce a specific joint angle
        • d.
          passively reproduce a specific joint angle
      • #4.
        The study revealed a high correlation between
        • a.
          type 4 Frykman fractures and increased JPS deficits
        • b.
          pain and increased JPS deficits
        • c.
          DRF and CTS
        • d.
          DRF and S-L ligament injury
      • #5.
        Prior to this study there was no solid evidence of the responsiveness of the JPS. This study demonstrated its responsiveness
        • a.
        • b.
      When submitting to the HTCC for re-certification, please batch your JHT RFC certificates in groups of 3 or more to get full credit.