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J Hand Surg Am. 2013 Feb;38(2):278-88. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2012.10.035. Epub 2012 Dec 23.

In vivo kinematics of the scaphoid, lunate, capitate, and third metacarpal in extreme wrist flexion and extension.

Author information

1
Bioengineering Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedics, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI 02903, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Insights into the complexity of active in vivo carpal motion have recently been gained using 3-dimensional imaging; however, kinematics during extremes of motion has not been elucidated. The purpose of this study was to determine motion of the carpus during extremes of wrist flexion and extension.

METHODS:

We obtained computed tomography scans of 12 healthy wrists in neutral grip, extreme loaded flexion, and extreme loaded extension. We obtained 3-dimensional bone surfaces and 6-degree-of-freedom kinematics for the radius and carpals. The flexion and extension rotation from neutral grip to extreme flexion and extreme extension of the scaphoid and lunate was expressed as a percentage of capitate flexion and extension and then compared with previous studies of active wrist flexion and extension. We also tested the hypothesis that the capitate and third metacarpal function as a single rigid body. Finally, we used joint space metrics at the radiocarpal and midcarpal joints to describe arthrokinematics.

RESULTS:

In extreme flexion, the scaphoid and lunate flexed 70% and 46% of the amount the capitate flexed, respectively. In extreme extension, the scaphoid extended 74% and the lunate extended 42% of the amount the capitates extended, respectively. The third metacarpal extended 4° farther than the capitate in extreme extension. The joint contact area decreased at the radiocarpal joint during extreme flexion. The radioscaphoid joint contact center moved onto the radial styloid and volar ridge of the radius in extreme flexion from a more proximal and ulnar location in neutral.

CONCLUSIONS:

The contributions of the scaphoid and lunate to capitate rotation were approximately 25% less in extreme extension compared with wrist motion through an active range of motion. More than half the motion of the carpus when the wrist was loaded in extension occurred at the midcarpal joint.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

These findings highlight the difference in kinematics of the carpus at the extremes of wrist motion, which occur during activities and injuries, and give insight into the possible etiologies of the scaphoid fractures, interosseous ligament injuries, and carpometacarpal bossing.

PMID:
23266007
PMCID:
PMC3557539
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhsa.2012.10.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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