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Modified Kinematic Technique for Measuring Pathological Hyperextension and Hypermobility of the Interphalangeal Joints

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Dynamic finger joint motion is difficult to measure using optical motion analysis techniques due to the limited surface area allowed for adequate marker placement. This paper describes an extension of a previously validated kinematic measurement technique using a reduced surface marker set and outlines the required calculations based on a specific surface marker placement to calculate flexion/extension and hyperextension of the metacarpophalangeal, proximal interphalangeal, and distal interphalangeal joints. The modified technique has been assessed for accuracy using a series of static reference frames (absolute residual error = ±3.7◦, cross correlation between new method and reference frames; r = 0.99). The method was then applied to a small group of participantswith rheumatoid arthritis (seven females, one male; mean age = 62.8 years ± 12.04) and illustrated congruent strategies of movement for a participant and a large range of finger joint movement over the sample (5.8–71.1◦, smallest to largest active range of motion). This method used alongside the previous paper [1] provides a comprehensive, validated method for calculating 3-D wrist, hand, fingers, and thumb kinematics to date and provides a valuable measurement tool for clinical research.

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