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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1994 Jun;(303):128-34.

Static progressive stretch to reestablish elbow range of motion.

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1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

Abstract

Static progressive stretch (SPS) is a technique using the biomechanical principle of stress relaxation to restore range of motion (ROM) in joint contractures. Existing techniques such as dynamic splinting and traction rely on a time-dependent material property, creep, which applies a continuous load. Other techniques, such as serial casting and static splinting, are time intensive and usually require assistance by a therapist. This study evaluates SPS via a new orthosis that directly applies SPS incrementally through patient-controlled therapy, allowing for stress relaxation of contracted tissue. Patients used the device in 30-minute treatment protocols. The length of treatment time varied between one and three months. Twenty patients with elbow contractures who had limited success with other treatment modalities including serial casting, dynamic splinting, physical therapy, and/or surgery, underwent SPS using the new orthosis. The increase in motion for the 20 patients in the study averaged 31 degrees (69%). All patients expressed satisfaction, with no complications and no deterioration in ROM at the one-year follow-up evaluation.

PMID:
8194222
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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