Kinematic Analyses Using Finger-Tapping Task for Patients After Surgery With Distal Radius Fracture at Acute Phase

Hand (N Y). 2022 Jul;17(4):754-763. doi: 10.1177/1558944720949952. Epub 2020 Aug 31.


Background: After a distal radius fracture (DRF), severe pain, disabilities, and pain-related psychological problems can arise and sometimes remain ~1 year later. DRF-related disabilities have been assessed with questionnaires but not by kinematic evaluations; the kinematic features of DRF patients are unknown. Here, we investigated the kinematic characteristics of DRF patients and explored the relationship between their clinical assessments and kinematic characteristics.

Methods: We analyzed 20 patients with DRFs after their surgeries. We recorded their finger-tapping using a magnetic sensor, and we calculated the velocity, magnitude, and movement-initiation hesitation. The patients' pain intensity and fear of movement were assessed by a visual analogue scale and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Questionnaire (DASH). To investigate the features of the patients who achieved only slight improvement, we compared the kinematic characteristics of the DRF patients in 2 subgroups: the "good improvement group" and the "slight improvement group" based on a cutoff value of the DASH score (>40) at 1 month postsurgery.

Results: The DASH score at 30 days postsurgery was significantly correlated with hesitation at 1 day postsurgery (r = .66, P < .0071) and with velocity at 7 days (r = -.54, P < .0071). Our kinematic analyses revealed significant differences in velocity at 7 days postsurgery (P < .05) and in hesitation at 1 day postsurgery (P < .05) between the subgroups.

Conclusions: Since assessments using range-of-motion measurements or a questionnaire are not sufficient to evaluate a patient's movement disorder, a kinematic analysis should be conducted for quantitative assessments.

Keywords: acute pain; finger tapping task; kinematic analysis; kinesiophobia; surgery pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Hand
  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Radius Fractures* / surgery
  • Range of Motion, Articular