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Arthritis Care Res. 1996 Feb;9(1):42-50.

Immediate and short-term effects of three commercial wrist extensor orthoses on grip strength and function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.



To investigate the immediate and short-term effects of 3 commercial wrist orthoses on grip strength and function.


Thirty-six patients with definite rheumatoid arthritis participated in the randomized, controlled, cross-over design study of 3 commercial wrist extensor orthoses. Dominant-hand dynamometric grip strength was assessed at both initial and followup sessions while splinted and nonsplinted. Functional impact was assessed using a written questionnaire.


All 3 commercial orthoses reduced grip strength when first donned. After a 1-week adjustment period, one orthosis, the Smith and Nephew Roylan D-Ring (Roylan), afforded splinted grip strength equal to that of the nonsplinted grip strength. The other 2 orthoses continued to reduce grip strength, and afforded splinted grip strength significantly below that of the Roylan. The Roylan was deemed comfortable by more subjects than the other orthoses.


The belief that commercial orthotic use increases grip strength, either immediately or after 1 week, is not supported by this study's data. Different styles of commercial wrist orthoses appear to have differing influence on splinted grip strength.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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