Distinguishing Biomechanical Properties of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Human Wrist Ligaments

[+] Author and Article Information
M. D. Nowalk

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06032-1805

S. E. Logan

Division of Plastic Surgery (Department of Surgery) and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110

J Biomech Eng 113(1), 85-93 (Feb 01, 1991) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2894089 History: Received May 01, 1989; Revised October 20, 1990; Online March 17, 2008


Two intrinsic (scapholunate and lunotriquetral) and two extrinsic (radiolunate and radiocapitate) wrist ligaments were studied at high and low elongation rates (1 and 100 mm/min). Statistically significant differences among all four ligaments were noted for the viscoelastic and elastic components of stress versus strain for the fully recoverable strain and early permanent deformation stress for all ligaments. Intrinsic ligaments became permanently deformed at statistically significantly higher strain levels than the extrinsic ligaments and accept larger permanent deformation at strain levels below evident fiber failure. Ultimate strength data demonstrated significant rate dependency for stress and strain for all ligaments. Intrinsic ligaments failed statistically greater stress and strain levels than the extrinsic group. Some clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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