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Hand Function in Adults with Radial Longitudinal Deficiency

Ekblom, Anna Gerber MD, PhD; Dahlin, Lars B. MD, PhD; Rosberg, Hans-Eric MD, PhD; Wiig, Monica MD, PhD; Werner, Michael MD; Arner, Marianne MD, PhD

Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery - American Volume: 16 July 2014 - Volume 96 - Issue 14 - p 1178–1184
doi: 10.2106/JBJS.M.00815
Scientific Articles
Supplementary Content

Background: Functional impairment in individuals with radial longitudinal deficiency can be influenced by several factors, including a short and bowed forearm, radial deviation of the wrist, a non-functional or absent thumb, limited finger motion, and impaired grip strength, but their relationship with activity and participation in adults with radial deficiency is not known.

Methods: Twenty individuals, eighteen to sixty years of age, who had Bayne type-II to V radial longitudinal deficiency, were examined in the context of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Body function and structure were evaluated by measures of range of motion, grip strength, key pinch, sensibility, and radiographic parameters. Activity was evaluated by the Box and Block Test and the Sollerman test, and participation was evaluated by QuickDASH (the short form of the Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand outcome measure) and by the Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short Form Health Survey. Statistical correlations among assessments of body function and structure, activity, and participation were examined.

Results: The mean total active motion of the wrist (43°) and mean total active motion of the digits (377°) were less than the norms. The mean radial deviation of the wrist was 31°. The mean grip strength (4.0 kg), key pinch (1.4 kg), and scores for the Box and Block Test (55 blocks per minute) and the Sollerman test on hand function (56 points) were considerably lower than the norms. The mean scores were 18 points for QuickDASH, 51 points for Short Form-12 physical component summary, and 53 points for Short Form-12 mental component summary. Significant relationships were found between the Box and Block Test and grip strength (p = 0.012), key pinch (p < 0.001), and total active motion of digits (p < 0.001); between the Sollerman test and the total active motion of elbow (p < 0.001) and the total active motion of digits (p < 0.001); between the QuickDASH and forearm length (p < 0.001), the total active motion of elbow (p = 0.001), and the total active motion of digits (p < 0.001); between the Short Form-12 physical component summary and grip strength (p = 0.016), forearm length (p < 0.001), total active elbow motion (p < 0.001), and total active digit motion (p < 0.001); and between the Short-Form-12 mental component summary and radial deviation of the wrist (p = 0.019). No significant correlations were found between the radiographic measurement of the radial deviation of the wrist (total forearm angle) and the Box and Block Test (p = 0.244), the Sollerman test (p = 0.775), QuickDASH (p = 0.156), Short Form-12 physical component summary (p = 0.107), or Short Form-12 mental component summary (p = 0.129).

Conclusions: In individuals with radial longitudinal deficiency, grip strength, key pinch, forearm length, and elbow and digital motion seem to be more important for the individual’s activity and participation than the radial angulation of the wrist.

Level of Evidence: Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

1Department of Clinical Science and Education, Sections of Hand Surgery (A.G.E. and M.A.) and Radiology (M.W.), Karolinska Institutet, Södersjukhuset, SE-118 83, Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail address for A.G. Ekblom: E-mail address for M. Werner: E-mail address for M. Arner:

2Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Section of Hand Surgery, Lund University, Jan Waldenströms gata 59, SE-205 02, Malmö, Sweden. E-mail address for L.B. Dahlin: E-mail address for H.E. Rosberg:

3Department of Surgical Science, Section of Hand Surgery, Uppsala University Hospital, ing 70, 1tr, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. E-mail address:

Copyright 2014 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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