Despite the clinical importance of deep wrist injuries (DWIs), data on the timeframe of possible improvements in hand function are scarce. We tested the hypotheses that a) the length of follow-up is positively correlated with the outcome, and b) this correlation is tempered by nerve involvement. All patients admitted to the Clinic of Plastic Surgery with an acute DWI between 2008 and 2016 were contacted for a follow-up examination including two-point discrimination, range of motion, grip, and pinch strength, as well as DASH and MMWS questionnaires and employment status. Possible confounders such as age, handedness, and intentionality of the injury (accidental or suicidal) were assessed and controlled for statistically. Fifty-three patients were reviewed (74% male and 26% female, 86% right-handed, 70% accidental injuries, mean age at injury 42.0 ± 17.1 years), an average of 4.3 ± 2.9 years after their injury. In patients with a nerve injury, length of follow-up had significant effects on two-point discrimination, grip and pinch strength, self-reported symptom severity and impairment. Contrary to conventional knowledge, the clinical outcome of DWIs may improve beyond 3 years when there is nerve involvement. This important prognostic finding has far-reaching implications for both clinicians (e.g., asked to give their medical opinion) and patients (e.g., considering re-training after a DWI).
|Translated title of the contribution||Time heals all wounds - Outcomes of deep palmar wrist injuries may improve long after reinnervation|
|Journal||Hand Surgery and Rehabilitation|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 06.2021|
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)