Abstract

Aim and object of the study: Extensor tendon rupture in patients with rheumatoid wrists causes dysfunction of the hand and necessitates tendon reconstruction and surgical treatment of the wrist joint. Dynamic outrigger splints using rubber bands have been used for early postoperative mobilization of the fingers. However, these splints are bulky and cause discomfort. We developed a new dynamic splint, which is compact and uses torsion springs instead of the rubber bands used in conventional outrigger splints. The splint extends the metacarpophalangeal joints using a volar finger bar. The objective of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes and subjective assessments between patients treated with the two types of splint. Methodology: Fourteen wrists (14 patients) were included. Clinical outcomes (range of active motion of the metacarpophalangeal joint) and subjective assessments were investigated in patients treated with either an outrigger splint or our new dynamic splint. Results: There were no differences in clinical outcomes between patients treated with the two kinds of splint. The new splint performed better in terms of the subjective assessment of changing clothes and bulkiness.  Conclusions: The new splint yielded equivalent clinical outcomes and better subjective assessments compared to conventional outrigger splints due to its reduced size.