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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 157295, 8 pages
Clinical Study

In Vivo Analysis of Trapeziometacarpal Joint Kinematics during Pinch Tasks

1Department of Occupational Therapy, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
3Musculoskeletal Research Center, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
4Department of Orthopedics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
5Department of Radiology, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan 704, Taiwan
6Institute for Problems in Mechanics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119526, Russia
7Institute of Mechanics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119992, Russia
8Medical Device Innovation Center, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan

Received 14 November 2013; Accepted 19 December 2013; Published 10 February 2014

Academic Editor: Ulrich Kneser

Copyright © 2014 Li-Chieh Kuo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigated how the posture of the thumb while performing common pinch movements and the levels of pinch force applied by the thumb affect the arthrokinematics of the trapeziometacarpal joint in vivo. Fifteen subjects performed the pinch tasks at the distal phalange (DP), proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint, and metacarpophalangeal (MP) joint of the index finger with 0%, 50%, and 80% of maximal pinch forces by a single-axis load cell. 3D images of the thumb were obtained using the computed tomography. The results show that the reference points moved from the central region to the dorsal-radial region when changing from pinching the DP to the MP joint without pinching force being applied. Pinching with 80% of the maximum pinching force resulted in reference points being the closest to the volar-ulnar direction. Significant differences were seen between 0% and 50% of maximum pinch force, as well as between 0% and 80%, when pinching the MP joint in the distal-proximal direction. The effects of posture of the thumb and applied pinch force on the arthrokinematics of the joint were investigated with a 3D model of the trapeziometacarpal joint. Pinching with more than 50% of maximum pinch force might subject this joint to extreme displacement.