Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to compare kinematic motion and functional performance during 2 tasks in patients following 4-corner fusion (4CF) or proximal row carpectomy (PRC) and to compare these data with those from healthy asymptomatic individuals.
Methods: Twenty men (10 4CFs and 10 PRCs, ages, 43-82 y) were recruited for 3-dimensional wrist motion analysis testing. Kinematic coupling (the ratio of wrist flexion/extension to radial-ulnar deviation), kinematic path length (a measure of total angle distance), clinical measures, and performance measures were collected during 2 tasks: dart throwing and hammering. For each outcome, between-group comparisons employed a 1-way analysis of variance with post hoc analysis using the Fisher least significant difference test.
Results: All clinical measures (flexion-extension, radial-ulnar deviation, and grip strength) were decreased for 4CF and PRC patients compared with healthy subjects. Coupling, kinematic path length, and performance were all significantly reduced in 4CF and PRC patients compared with healthy subjects during both tasks. Reduced coupling and a shorter kinematic path length are indicative of less global and combined wrist motion. There were no differences identified in coupling patterns or performance between the surgical groups for the dart-throwing task. However, in hammering, the kinematic path length and performance (time and total strikes) were worse in 4CF than in PRC.
Conclusions: Differences in wrist kinematics and performance were identified between the groups. PRC subjects performed better on kinematic and performance variables. As expected, both groups demonstrated decreased wrist kinematic motion and functional performance compared with individuals with normal wrists. These results require confirmation and while they cannot be used to determine the benefits of one procedure over the other, they are an important step in quantifying differences in motion and function between procedures.
Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic II.
Keywords: Wrist; function; kinematics; motion analysis; wrist arthritis.
Copyright © 2015 American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.