(Un)importance of physical therapy in treatment of displaced supracondylar humerus fractures in children
Elbow joint stiffness is a common complication following supracondylar humerus fractures. In prospective study, dynamics of establishing a full range of motion in the elbow joint following the treatment of supracondylar humerus fractures were assessed, together with the effects of physical therapy on improvement in the range of motion.
Two groups of patients were observed. Physical therapy was administered to the first group, comprised of 25 patients. The second group, comprised of 28 patients, underwent no physical therapy.
In the first few months following treatment, the range of motion was significantly greater in the patients who had undergone physical therapy, but after 12 months, the range of motion was almost equal in the two groups.
This study has shown that it takes about 12 months to establish a full range of motion after the injury, and that it is not necessary to apply physical therapy in patients with elbow fractures.
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