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January 1969

Therapeutic Value of Oral Proteolytic Enzymes Following Hand Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Grace Hospital, Detroit.

Arch Surg. 1969;98(1):103-104. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340070121027

Edema often complicates the course of recovery following surgery of the hand and may delay the return of normal function. This results in scarring and prolongs postoperative pain and discomfort.

In our previous study,1 the use of an orally administered proteolytic enzyme was shown to be of value, when added to the accepted regimen of proper postoperative care, in inhibiting edema and hastening recovery. This conclusion was based on objective measurements as well as clinical appraisal carried out on a double blind basis. Our data appeared to support many of the favorable reports in the literature based largely upon subjective observations.

The favorable results which we obtained led us to extend our studies in order to gain further information and to validate our own conclusions.

Materials and Methods  A total of 54 consecutive patients who required hand surgery were included in this study. They were of either sex and