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Progressive resistance and flexibility exercises versus usual care advice for improving pain and function after distal radius fracture in adults aged 50 years or over: the WISE randomised superiority trial


In the UK, there are 100,000 distal radius fractures each year, representing 1 in 5 of all broken bones. The majority affect women over the age of 50. Most patients experience pain and stiffness in their wrist and develop upper limb weakness, making activities of daily living difficult. Optimising rehabilitation could improve these specific areas. Guidance in 2018 concluded the sufficient evidence to inform rehabilitation recommendations. The James Lind Priority Setting Partnership in this area ranked rehabilitation as one of the top priorities for research.

Currently, rehabilitation consists of verbal and written advice on self-management and mobilising exercises. We hypothesise that introducing resistance exercise training into the rehabilitation period has the potential to improve functional recovery.

Aim, Objectives and Study Design

The aim of this multi-centre, parallel-group, randomised superiority trial is to compare the clinical effectiveness of a therapist-supervised exercise programme, compared to usual care, in improving pain and function after distal radius fractures in adults aged 50 years and over.


The primary objective of this study is to quantify and draw inferences on differences in wrist pain and function, as measured by the Patient Rated Wrist Evaluation (PRWE), between trial intervention groups at six months post-randomisation


Study design: A multi-centre, parallel-group, superiority, randomised controlled clinical trial

Funded by National Institute for Health and Care Research logo


OCTRU logo


Kadoorie logo

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