If early active motion after 3-ligament tenodesis is safe, it may yield more patient comfort and an early return to activities. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether early active motion is noninferior to late active motion after 3-ligament tenodesis for scapholunate interosseous ligament injuries.
This prospective, multicenter cohort study, using a noninferiority design with propensity score matching, compared a late active motion protocol (immobilization for 10–16 days, wrist therapy in weeks 5–6) with an early active motion protocol (immobilization for 3–5 days, wrist therapy during week 2). Patients who were older than 18 years, had complete baseline information on demographics, and underwent 3-ligament tenodesis were included. The outcome measures were postoperative Patient-Reported Wrist/Hand Evaluation scores, pain, complications, return to work, range of motion, grip strength, and satisfaction with treatment results at 3 months of follow-up.
After propensity matching, a total of 108 patients were included. Patient-Reported Wrist/Hand Evaluation and pain scores during physical load following an early active motion protocol were noninferior compared with scores following a late active motion protocol. Furthermore, early active motion did not lead to an increase of complications, differences in range of motion or grip strength, or less satisfaction with the treatment result. An earlier return to work was not observed.
Early active motion leads to noninferior results without more complications as compared with late active motion. Based on these findings, early active motion can be considered safe, and might be recommended due to its potential benefits compared with late active motion after 3-ligament tenodesis.
Type of study/level of evidence
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Published online: August 30, 2022
Accepted: July 6, 2022
Received: November 26, 2021
No benefits in any form have been received or will be received related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.
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