Static Progressive versus Three-point Elbow Extension Splinting: A Mathematical Analysis
Journal of Hand Therapy
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Elbow joint contractures are often treated by using static progressive, dynamic, turnbuckle, or serial static splinting. These splint designs are effective in regaining functional elbow range of motion due to the high forces applied to the contracted tissues; however, regaining terminal elbow extension remains a challenge. Static progressive splints are commonly used to initiate treatment, however, are considered less effective in regaining terminal extension. Recently, the concept of converting a static progressive splint into a three-point static progressive splint (TPSPS) to regain terminal extension has been introduced. This paper mathematically analyzes the compressive and rotational forces in static progressive and TPSPSs. Our hypothesis was that three-point static progressive splinting was superior to the standard static progressive elbow extension splint in applying rotational forces to the elbow at terminal extension. © 2009 Hanley & Belfus.