The range of excursion of flexor tendons in Zone V: a comparison of active vs passive flexion mobilisation regimes.
AffiliationDepartment of Plastic Surgery, Cork University Hospital, Ireland.
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CitationThe range of excursion of flexor tendons in Zone V: a comparison of active vs passive flexion mobilisation regimes. 1997, 50 (7):517-22 Br J Plast Surg
JournalBritish journal of plastic surgery
AbstractA number of early postoperative mobilisation regimes have been developed in an attempt to increase tendon excursion and gliding and thereby reduce formation of adhesions following repair of flexor tendons. Early active flexion mobilisation regimes are becoming more popular, and have replaced early passive flexion regimes in many centres. The aim of the present study was: (a) to determine the range of excursion of flexor tendons in Zone V, and (b) to compare the excursion ranges between active (Belfast) and passive (modified Duran) flexion mobilisation regimes postoperatively. This was done (a) in two cadavers, and (b) in two patients intraoperatively, and postoperatively at 10 days, 3 weeks and 6 weeks. With passive flexion, the mean tendon excursion in Zone V in cadavers was 1 mm for flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS), flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) and flexor pollicis longus (FPL) tendons respectively. With simulated active flexion, the mean tendon excursion was 14 mm, 10 mm and 11 mm respectively. The mean tendon excursion in clinical cases intraoperatively following passive flexion was 2 mm for FDS, FDP and FPL respectively; following simulated active flexion it was 10 mm, 11 mm and 11 mm for FDS, FDP and FPL respectively. On the tenth day following repair, the mean excursions of FDS, FDP and FPL were 1 mm, 4 mm and 4 mm on passive flexion as compared to 3 mm, 10 mm and 12 mm on active flexion respectively. Three weeks postoperatively, the mean excursions of FDS, FDP and FPL tendons were 1 mm, 2 mm and 1 mm on passive flexion as compared to 5 mm, 15 mm on active flexion respectively. Six weeks postoperatively, the mean excursions of FDS, FDP and FPL tendons were 9 mm, 7 mm and 4 mm on passive flexion as compared to 12 mm, 33 mm and 20 mm on active flexion respectively. These results demonstrate an increased excursion of repaired flexor tendons in Zone V following an active flexion mobilisation regime as compared to a passive flexion mobilisation regime.
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