Metacarpal squeezing reduces grip strength

Erinc S., UYGUR M. E. , Akkaya M., Akpinar F.

HAND SURGERY & REHABILITATION, vol.41, no.1, pp.37-41, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.hansur.2021.09.005
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.37-41
  • Keywords: Grip strength, Metacarpal narrowing, Wrist fracture, Cast immobilization, DISTAL RADIUS FRACTURES, NONOPERATIVE TREATMENT, PATIENTS OLDER, FAT PADS, HAND, OUTCOMES


Unduly tight plaster hand casts may narrow the metacarpal joint space, hindering rehabilitation. This study investigated how metacarpal narrowing affects grip strength. Forty-two adult volunteers with no other pathology were included. Dominant and non-dominant hand grip strength was measured with a digital hand dynamometer (Jamar plus, China). Metacarpal width was measured with a metal caliper, and the caliper was then fixed at 10% narrowing of the joint space, and a second measurement of grip strength was taken. The measurements were thus taken twice each in the dominant and non-dominant hand, and the average of the two was recorded. A total 336 measurements were taken in the dominant and non-dominant hands of 42 individuals at two time points. There was no significant difference in grip strength between dominant and non-dominant hands (p = 0.183). After 10% narrowing, both the dominant and the non-dominant hand showed a mean 33.4% reduction in grip strength: i.e., squeezing the metacarpus with a caliper significantly reduced grip strength in both dominant and non-dominant hands (p = 0.01). The study thus showed that grip strength will decrease significantly when the metacarpus is squeezed by a tight cast. Although the patient does not feel the 10% narrowing of the metacarpus, it is clear that hand muscle mass may be adversely affected in the long term. xe002;C 2021 SFCM. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.