Patient compliance with a rehabilitation program after flexor tendon repair in zone II of the hand

J. G.G. Dobbe*, N. E. Van Trommel, M. J.P.F. Ritt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The use of early mobilization during rehabilitation of a finger after flexor tendon repair in zone II has achieved worldwide acceptance. Different exercise instructions are given to patients in different clinics, however. When using Kleinert dynamic splinting, some hand therapists instruct patients to exercise 10 times an hour, while others tell their patients to exercise as many times as possible. How often a patient should exercise to achieve optimal results has never, to the authors' knowledge, been investigated. To identify a relationship between exercise behavior and range of motion achieved at 6 months postoperatively, the authors started a pilot study of the compliance of 15 patients with a rehabilitation program following flexor tendon repair in zone II. A portable rehabilitation device was used to deliver an isotonic tensile force and to record when (during the day) a patient exercises and how many exercises the patient performs. Patients were instructed to perform at least ten exercises per hour. The average count per hour was 69 exercises (range, 14-213). In this small group study, no strong correlation was found between exercise count and the total active or total passive motion achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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