Use of the technique for extensor tendon acceleration with an injured soldier after a metacarpal fracture

Michele L McCarroll *  and Jennifer L Martin  

* Department of Human Performance and Exercise Science, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH, USA;  Summa Health Systems, Akron, OH, USA;  Hamot Medical Center, Erie, PA, USA

Correspondence: Michele L McCarroll PhD, Department of Human Performance and Exercise Science, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH 44555-0001, USA. Email: [email protected]

Objective. The purpose of this case report was to evaluate the effectivenessof the ‘technique for extensor tendon acceleration’(TETA) in improving an active extensor lag at the metacarpophalangeal(MCP) and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints after a surgicallyrepaired, stable metacarpal fracture (MCF). The TETA was usedin combination with scar mobilization, exercise and splintingwith an injured soldier who sustained an MCF while on activeduty.

Methods. This case report is about a soldier injured during the IraqWar who used the TETA, in combination with other treatments,as a means for resolving an extensor lag in a stable fourthdigit MCF. The pre- and post-TETA outcome measure was rangeof motion (ROM). The ROM was taken before initiation of theTETA and two weeks after its initiation.

Results. After two weeks of performing the TETA in combination with othertreatments, the soldier demonstrated a measurable improvementin the extensor lags at both the MCP and PIP joints. The soldier’sfourth digit total active motion improved by 55° while theMCP joint extensor lag improved by 10° and the PIP jointextensor lag improved by 20°.

Conclusion. This case report demonstrated a potential benefit for usingthe TETA in conjunction with other treatments in overcomingan active extensor lag after a stable MCF. These results arecase specific and may not be generalized to a larger populationuntil future research studies can be conducted.

Key Words: Metacarpal fracture rehabilitation • extensor lag • extensor tendon adhesions