ACOEM releases guidelines for injuries to hand, wrist and forearm
The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine recently unveiled medical treatment guidelines for providing care to workers with hand, wrist and forearm injuries.
The guidelines, which represent the latest chapter in ACOEM's Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines, include more than 300 recommendations on diagnostic testing and treatments for 20 disorders of the hand, wrist and forearm. Guidelines are featured for carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist sprains, mallet finger, scaphoid fractures, middle and proximal phalangeal and metacarpal fractures, distal forearm fractures, human and animal bites, and hand/finger osteoarthrosis.
First published in 1997, Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines are evidence-based guidelines used by occupational physicians and other health care professionals. The guidelines are also used extensively by insurers, employers, attorneys, and other individuals and organizations involved in health and safety in the workplace.
The latest chapter was developed by a multidisciplinary panel that included specialists in occupational medicine, orthopedic surgery, occupational therapy, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and neuromuscular and electrodiagnostic medicine. Approximately 1,000 references are featured, including almost 350 randomized controlled trials or crossover trials.
In the new chapter, the panel provided:
- Sixty specific recommendations for carpal tunnel syndrome. The recommendations include imaging and electro-diagnostic procedures, and splinting, injection and surgical release interventions.
- Recommendations for postoperative rehabilitation. In addition, information is provided on ergonomic interventions for distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders with an occupational basis.
- An overview for each treatment option. The overviews include background notes about any evidence cited, opinions on whether the treatment is considered costly or invasive, and whether it has high or low risks or side effects.
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November 9, 2009
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