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Injury. 1987 Jul;18(4):283-5.

A controlled prospective study of early mobilization of minimally displaced fractures of the distal radial metaphysis.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Sunderland District General Hospital.


A controlled prospective trial of early exercise of slightly displaced fractures of the distal radial metaphysis has been performed. Twenty-eight fractures were enclosed in a tubigrip support 7-13 days after injury and 28 fractures were splinted in below-elbow plaster for 4 weeks. It was found that early movement of the wrist produced a superior functional result at 5 and 7 weeks (P less than 0.05) and allowed an earlier recovery of domestic skills (P less than 0.05). Early exercise did not improve recovery of strength of grip and did not produce a higher incidence of malunion. Patients treated in tubigrip experienced no more pain in weeks 4 and 6 and apart from one failure, no patient actively disliked this form of treatment and 22 were totally satisfied.

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