Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Capener splinting is a common treatment for extension deficit of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint. This study compared the effect of daily splint total end range time (TERT) of 6–12 hr versus 12–16 hr.

METHOD. Twenty-two participants with extension deficits of the PIP joint were randomly allocated to a daily TERT of 6–12 hr or 12–16 hr. Progress after 8 wk of splinting was evaluated.

RESULTS. No significant difference was found in change in extension range of motion (ROM) between groups (active ROM, F[4, 17] = 2.19, p = .13; passive ROM, F[4, 17] = 0.95, p = .46; torque ROM, F[4, 17] = 1.49, p = .26). Considerable crossover between groups resulted in a similar average daily TERT (9.5 hr for the 6–12 hr group vs. 11.5 hr for the 12–16 hr group).

CONCLUSION. Further research with a larger sample is needed to determine whether longer daily TERT is beneficial. Our results suggest, however, that most patients find it difficult to wear splints >12 hr/day.

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