Kinematics of the Midcarpal and Radiocarpal Joint in Flexion and Extension: An In Vitro Study

Robert A. Kaufmann MD, H. James Pfaeffle MD, PhD, Brad D. Blankenhorn MS, Kathryne Stabile MS, Doug Robertson MD, PhD and Robert Goitz MD

The purpose of this study was to apply carpal kinematic analysis using noninvasive medical imaging to investigate the midcarpal and radiocarpal contributions to wrist flexion and extension in a quasidynamic in vitro model.  The authors conclude that the capitate and scaphoid tend to move together. This results in greater flexion/extension for the scaphoid than the lunate at the radiocarpal joint. The lunate has greater midcarpal motion between it and the capitate than the scaphoid does with the capitate. The engagement between the scaphoid and capitate is particularly evident during wrist extension. Out-of-plane motion was primarily ulnar deviation at the radiocarpal joint during flexion. These results are clinically useful in understanding the consequences of isolated fusions in the treatment of wrist instability.

The Journal of Hand Surgery, Volume 31, Issue 7, September 2006, Pages 1142-1148

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