Early Rehab Helpful After Hand Surgery
- Posted on: Nov 3 2014
The following is a recent article from a great online resource for patients and clinicians called Today in PT. Patients who begin rehabilitation in the first week after surgery to repair hand tendons are less likely to need re-surgery and use fewer rehabilitation services, according to a new study.
Four researchers with the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Chi-Mei Medical Center and one with the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, both in Taiwan, examined whether early hand rehabilitation was beneficial using population-based data. The findings were published Oct. 1 on the website of the Journal of Hand Therapy.
The investigators identified a group of 1,219 patients who had undergone hand tendon repair from 2000-09 and started rehabilitation within one year using the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000. The patients were sorted into three groups based on how long they waited before starting rehabilitation after the surgery.
Patients who started rehab less than a week after surgery were in the early group (472 patients), those who started rehab one to six weeks later made up the intermediate group (540) and patients who started rehab more than six weeks after the procedure were considered the late group (207).
The research team also calculated the rate of resurgery for two years after the initial procedure. The number of rehab sessions and total amount spent on rehab during the two-year period was estimated for the study.
The researchers found patients who received early rehabilitation had the lowest rate of resurgery (3.81%), compared with the intermediate group (5%) and the late rehab group (12.08%). The study also found the number of rehab sessions and total amount spent for rehab were lowest in the early rehab group.
When compared with late rehab, early or intermediate rehab provided protective effects against resurgery in patients who did not also have an upper-limb fracture, the study found.
“Our findings suggest the benefit and safety of early rehabilitation begun in the first week after hand tendon repair,” the authors wrote.