Association between objective clinical variables and patient-rated disability of the wrist

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2002 Sep;84(7):967-70. doi: 10.1302/0301-620x.84b7.12673.


Although the outcome of fractures of the distal radius is traditionally assessed using objective clinical variables such as grip strength and range of movement of the wrist, the extent to which they reflect function and outcomes of importance for the patient is uncertain. This may cause considerable inconsistencies in the assessment of outcome using current scoring systems. We prospectively studied 31 patients recovering from unstable fractures of the distal radius in order to investigate the association between objective variables and the level of post-traumatic disability of the wrist as measured by the patient-rated wrist evaluation (PRWE) score. Multiple regression showed considerable differences in the extent to which limitations in specific objective clinical variables reflected the level of disability of the wrist. Grip strength was shown to be a significant predictor of the PRWE score (regression coefficient -1.09, 95% confidence interval -1.76 to -0.42, p < 0.01) and thus appears to be a sensitive indicator of return of function of the wrist. Forearm rotation and flexion and extension of the wrist were not significantly associated with the PRWE score. These observations should be taken into account during the evaluation of methods of treatment and in constructing future clinical outcome scoring systems.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radius Fractures / physiopathology*
  • Radius Fractures / surgery
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Disclosure
  • Treatment Outcome