Data from a study published in the April 18 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery suggest home exercise may offer benefits over formal physical therapy (PT) for patients with a nondisplaced or minimally displaced fracture of the radial head or neck. 

Members of the research team conducted a prospective, randomized trial of 51 patients treated with either a home-exercise program (n = 25) or formal, outpatient PT (n = 26). At 6-week follow-up, they found that patients in the home-exercise cohort had significantly improved Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scores compared to those in the PT cohort. At 3-month, 6-month, and average 16.6-month final follow-ups, they found no significant differences across cohorts for any DASH outcome measure (pain, time to clinical healing, and range of motion). Read the abstract