Flexor Injury Rehab Splint Trial (FIRST)– is a pragmatic multi-centre randomised control trial (RCT) comparing splints following repair of finger flexor tendons.

Study Overview:

In the UK, more than 7,000 people a year cut their flexor tendons. Without surgery to repair the tendons, the fingers would never bend and our hands would become useless. Following surgery, a ‘made to measure’ splint is needed to prevent the repaired tendon from re-rupturing. There are currently three splints available on the NHS, and we do not know which is best.

We want to know, which splint gives people the best chance of getting back their normal hand use, what is it like to wear each splint, if people wear these as instructed, and whether one splint is better value for money.

We aim to recruit 429 patients from our participating sites, who have had their flexor tendons repaired. They will be randomised to receive one of the three splints, and monitored for a year. We will ask questions about their hand and wrist use and how long they had off work. We will measure how much they can move their hand and how strong their hand is. We will also ask if they have any pain in their hand or wrist or had any other troubles because of their injury.

Results: Once the study is complete, results will be available via this website. We will use our professional links to inform hand therapy clinical guidelines. We will share videos and posts on social media so that everyone who has or works with this injury will know which splint is best, under what circumstances and why.

First Study Twitter:

Trial Information

Sponsor: University Hospitals of Derby and Burton

Funder: (National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Grant Codes: NIHR133582

IRAS Project ID: 310986

ISRCTN Registration: 10236011

Contact us:


Address: Sheffield Clinical Trials Research Unit
ScHARR The University of Sheffield
Innovation Centre
c/o Regent Court, 30 Regent Street
Sheffield, S1 4DA

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