Injured Limbs Recover Better with Early Mobilization and Functional Bracing Than with Cast Immobilization

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Question: In patients with acute limb injuries, how does cast immobilization compare with early mobilization?

Data sources: Studies were identified by searching the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, MEDLINE (1966 to 2002), EMBASE Excerpta Medica, and Web of Science, and the references of retrieved studies.

Study selection and assessment: Studies in any language were selected if they were randomized controlled trials comparing cast immobilization with early mobilization in patients with acute limb injuries, if the follow-up was ≥80%, and if the patient population was not predominantly young children. Study quality was assessed according to the criteria of the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Injuries Group (maximum score, …

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