Objectives: We investigated the effects of the illusion of motion through tendon vibration on hand function in patients with distal radius fractures.
Setting: Kawachi General Hospital, Japan.
Subjects: A total of 22 patients with distal radius fractures were divided into either an illusory kinesthesia group ( n = 11) or a control group ( n = 11).
Intervention: We performed the intervention for seven consecutive days after surgery. Evaluations were performed at one day, seven days, one month, and two months postsurgery.
Main measures: Data were collected on pain at rest and pain during movement. The Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation and Pain Catastrophizing Scale were also used.
Results: The illusory kinesthesia group showed significantly better scores on Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation ( p < 0.01) compared with the control group at seven days, one month, and two months postsurgery. The mean (SD) of the Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation total score was 97.6 (2.2) at one day postsurgery and 9.1 (5.3) at seven days postsurgery in the illusory kinesthesia group, while the Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation total score was 96.3 (4.4) at one day postsurgery and 20.1 (17.0) at seven days postsurgery in the control group.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that illusory kinesthesia is an effective postsurgery management strategy not only for pain alleviation, but also hand function in patients with distal radius fractures. Furthermore, the significant improvements persisted for up to two months after intervention in the illusory kinesthesia group, but not in the control group. In addition, patients in the kinesthetic illusions group showed increased use of the affected limb in daily living.
Keywords: Illusory kinesthesia; activities of daily living; distal radial fractures; postoperative pain.