Exercise-based intervention as a nonsurgical treatment for patients with carpal instability: A case series

Cheuquelaf-Galaz, Cristian; Antúnez-Riveros, Marcela Andrea; Lastra-Millán, Andrés; Canals, Andrea; Aguilera-Godoy, Alejandra; Nunez-Cortes, Rodrigo


Background: Although the important roles of proprioception and neuromuscular control in carpal instabilities under laboratory conditions have been recognized, only a few studies have translated this knowledge into a routine clinical practice. Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the results of a personalized rehabilitation in patients with carpal instability on functionality and pain intensity. Study design: This was a case series study. Methods: This case series included 39 adults (mean age: 38.2 ± 14.0 years; 16/23 females/males) diagnosed with carpal instability (radial or ulnar) with indication for orthopedic treatment. The disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand questionnaire was used to assess upper limb functionality. Pain perception was assessed using a visual analog scale. Exercise-based physiotherapy interventions were performed according to the clinical needs of the patients for at least 6 weeks (2-3 sessions per week). For the treatment of radial instability (n = 13), strengthening exercises of the abductor pollicis longus, extensor carpi radialis longus, flexor carpi radialis, and pronator quadratus muscles were prescribed. For the treatment of ulnar instability (n = 24), extensor carpi ulnaris and pronator quadratus were trained. All patients underwent proprioceptive training in open kinetic chain and closed kinetic chain, as well as strengthening of the unaffected hand. Changes before and after treatment were compared using the nonparametric Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results: A significant improvement with a large effect size in disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (P < .001; d = 2.9) and visual analog scale (P < .001; d = 3.2) scores were obtained after treatment. Moreover, the changes were greater than the minimal clinically important difference of 10.8 and 1.4, respectively. Similar results were found when patients with radial instability and ulnar instability were analyzed separately. Conclusions: Personalized training with specific proprioception and strengthening exercises produces improvements in functionality and pain perception in our cohort of people with carpal instability. These results highlight the importance of multicomponent exercise in the treatment of wrist instability. Future randomized clinical trials should further investigate the effectiveness of this protocol.

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Título según SCOPUS: ID SCOPUS_ID:85173179338 Not found in local SCOPUS DB
Título de la Revista: Journal of Hand Therapy
Fecha de publicación: 2023