A scoping review of applications and outcomes of traction orthoses and constructs for the management of intra-articular fractures and fracture dislocations in the hand
Journal of Hand Therapy
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© 2016 Hanley & Belfus Introduction Intra-articular hand fractures can have devastating consequences for movement and function. The unique nature of the injury and diverse management strategies are a challenge for conducting trials. Purpose of the Study To conduct a scoping review of traction constructs for the management of intra-articular hand fractures. Methods We conducted a systematic search of the literature, extracting data on the scope and nature of the evidence for traction constructs. Results Our search yielded 87 articles addressing 3 traction constructs: (1) static traction (n = 17), (2) dynamic external fixation (n = 53), and (3) dynamic orthoses (n = 17). Active range of motion of the target joint was the most frequently reported outcome. Study designs included 36 cohorts, 21 case series, and 9 case studies: 24% contained only technical information. Conclusions The current literature addressing traction constructs consists primarily of small and low-quality studies. Evidence synthesis could improve the estimation of range of motion outcomes but would not be able to identify the best treatment. Consensus on classification of fracture patterns, routine use of outcome measures, and randomized trials are needed to compare different traction constructs and inform evidence-based care. Study design Scoping review. Level of evidence N/A.