Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Physiotherapist Ann-Sofi Lamberg reports about positive effects of early active training of reconstructed triceps function

In a recent study we investigated the effect of early postoperative activation on elbow extension strength and elbow joint range of motion after reconstruction of Posterior Deltoid muscle to triceps transfer compared to a control group. Fourteen individuals underwent early activation after surgery. They were compared to a control group matched for age at injury and remaining functions. Both groups adhered to same standard protocols after reconstruction elbow extension except for early activation in one of the groups. Those who had early isometric activation started with training of elbow extension in the cast on the first day after surgery. The purpose was to activate the new triceps to straighten the elbow. They trained four times per day with 3 sets of 5 repetitions. Those who underwent early activation demonstrated a significant increase in elbow extension range of motion both passively and actively after surgery. Of those who trained actively, 8 individuals had the same range of motion in elbow extension and 6 increased in elbow extension post-operatively compared to the control group where 9 individuals had no change, 3 decreased in elbow extension and 2 increased in elbow extension. Individuals in the early activation group generated more power in elbow extension compared to the control group. It is concluded that early activation after reconstruction of Posterior Deltoid to Triceps is safe and reduces the risk of elbow extension deficits.