Range of Motion Exercises

The importance of active range of motion exercises is emphasized and demonstrated for the patient. This includes full composite active extension, which should allow the palm to be placed flat on a tabletop with all fingers touching the table along their length, and full composite flexion in which the fingertips touch the distal palmar crease. It is explained that stiffness is the most common problem following surgery, and that at least four repetitions of these exercises should be done at least every two hours over the course of the day. It is explained that the fingers may be limbered up with exercise, but that the normal swelling following surgery results in stiffness returning within minutes after exercises have been stopped. This tendency will improve gradually over a period of months.

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