Use of Hand Therapy After Distal Radius Fracture: A National Perspective

J Hand Surg Am. 2021 Oct 16:S0363-5023(21)00549-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2021.08.018. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To assess whether certain distal radius fracture (DRF) patients, such as opioid users or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) patients, receive more hand therapy.

METHODS: Using the IBM MarketScan Research Databases from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2016, we identified a cohort of DRF patients and created 4 subgroups of interest: frequent follow-up patients, persistent opioid users, prior opioid users, and patients with CRPS. We measured rates and demographic characteristics associated with therapy use in our populations of interest.

RESULTS: In this cohort of 87,313 patients, 21% received hand therapy after primary DRF treatment. Patients with CRPS had a higher rate of therapy than non-CRPS patients (44% vs 21%, respectively). Frequent follow-up patients used more therapy than those with less follow-up (30% vs 17%, respectively). Persistent opioid users demonstrated slightly increased therapy use compared to the remaining population (25% vs 22%, respectively). Prior opioid users underwent less therapy than patients without prior opioid use (19% vs 22%, respectively). Female sex, residing in the Northeast, being on a preferred provider organization plan, and having more intense surgical treatments were associated with increased therapy use.

CONCLUSIONS: This study showed variations in therapy use after DRF in subpopulations of interest. Patients with CRPS, persistent opioid use, and frequent follow-ups had higher rates of therapy. Patients with prior opioid use had lower rates of therapy.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Therapy is more common in patients with DRF with CRPS, persistent opioid use, or more follow-up visits.

PMID:34666936 | DOI:10.1016/j.jhsa.2021.08.018

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