Influence of elbow flexion angle on mobilization of the proximal radio-ulnar joint: A motion analysis using cadaver specimens

Sadanori Ohshiro, Egi Hidaka, Shigenori Miyamoto, Mitsuhiro Aoki, Toshihiko Yamashita and Haruyuki Tatsumi

The purpose of this study was to determine the most effective elbow joint flexion angle for mobilization of the proximal radio-ulnar joint. Five fresh-frozen cadaveric elbows were used to measure displacement of the radial head in the antero-medial and postero-lateral directions by traction force of 2 kgf and 4 kgf, respectively. Simulation of the gliding of the proximal radio-ulnar joint was performed at four elbow flexion angles (0°, 30°, 60°, 90°). Data obtained from those flexion angles were compared using one-way repeated measures analysis of variance. Radial head displacement at 60° and 90° during antero-medial gliding were significantly greater than those at 0° and 30°. There were no significant differences in radial head displacement among four elbow flexion angles during postero-lateral gliding at 2 kgf and 4 kgf.

The findings of this study suggest that proximal radio-ulnar joint mobilization in the antero-medial direction can be performed effectively at 60° and 90° elbow flexion.

Manual Therapy, 1 May 2008, online article ahead of press

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