Research Papers

Comparison Between Healthy and Reduced Hand Function Using Ranges of Motion and a Weighted Fingertip Space Model

[+] Author and Article Information
Samuel T. Leitkam

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Michigan State University,
East Lansing, MI 48824

Tamara Reid Bush

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Michigan State University,
428 S. Shaw Lane,
Rm. 2555 Engineering Building,
East Lansing, MI 48824-1226
e-mail: reidtama@msu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received June 14, 2014; final manuscript received November 10, 2014; published online February 5, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Zong-Ming Li.

J Biomech Eng 137(4), 041003 (Apr 01, 2015) (11 pages) Paper No: BIO-14-1265; doi: 10.1115/1.4029215 History: Received June 14, 2014; Revised November 10, 2014; Online February 05, 2015

Detection and quantification of changes in hand function are important for patients with loss of function and clinicians who are treating them. A recently developed model, the weighted fingertip space (WFS) quantifies the hand function of individuals in three-dimensional space and applies kinematic weighting parameters to identify regions of reachable space with high and low hand function. The goal of this research was to use the WFS model to compare and contrast the functional abilities of healthy individuals with the abilities of individuals with reduced functionality due to arthritis (RFA). Twenty two individuals with no reported issues with hand function and 21 individuals with arthritis affecting the hand were included in the research. Functional models were calculated from the ranges of motion and hand dimension data for each individual. Each model showed the volume of reachable space for each fingertip of each hand, the number of ways to reach a point in space, the range of fingertip orientations possible at each point, and the range of possible force application directions (FADs) at each point. In addition, two group models were developed that showed how many individuals in both the healthy and RFA groups were able to reach the same points in space. The results showed differences between the two groups for the range of motion (ROM) measurements, the individual model calculations, and the group models. The ROM measurements showed significant differences for the joints of the thumb, extension of the nonthumb metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints, and flexion of the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints. Comparing the models, the two groups qualitatively showed similar patterns of functional measures in space, but with the RFA group able to reach a smaller volume of space. Quantitatively, the RFA group showed trends of smaller values for all of the calculated functional weighting parameters and significantly smaller reachable volume for all of the fingers. The group models showed that all healthy individuals were able to reach an overlapping space, while 18 of 21 RFA individuals were able to reach similar spaces. Combined, the results showed that the WFS model presents the abilities of the hand in ways that can be quantitatively and qualitatively compared. Thus, the potential of this hand model is that it could be used to assess and document the changes that occur in hand function due to rehabilitation or surgery, or as a guide to determine areas most accessible by various populations.

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Fig. 1

Plot of FAD weighting of the WFS model for an index finger (left) and for the whole hand (right)

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Fig. 2

Spherical nomenclature for the movements of the thumb

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Fig. 3

Marker configuration for motion capture measurements of finger segment movements

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Fig. 4

Representative hand motions measured for ROM measurements. (a) end-position for MCP flexion, (b) end-position of PIP and DIP flexion, (c) hand poses for maximum finger abduction and adduction, (d) midposition for maximum inclination and azimuth angles, (e) end-position for maximum azimuth angle, (f) end-position for thumb MCP and IP flexions, (g) end-positions for extensions, and (h) neutral hand position.

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Fig. 5

Sagittal plane slices of the three weighting factors of representative healthy (left) and reduced functionality (right) males. The weightings were the number of ways to reach (top), the angular range of possible fingertip orientation directions (middle), and the angular range of possible FADs (bottom). Darker colors represent lower levels of each functionality measure at the indicated point and lighter colors represent higher levels of functionality.

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Fig. 6

Planar slices of 3D reachable space for healthy (left) and reduced functionality (right), for the index (top), middle, ring, and small (bottom) fingers. Shading differences (colors online) indicate the number of individuals from the sample population that could reach each point in space with the darker region in the center (red online) indicating 100% of the participants reaching that zone, and the number decreasing outward with the outer edge of the plot (dark blue online) representing that only one participant could reach that zone.

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Fig. 7

Three-dimensional views of the overlapping reachable spaces for the index finger of the healthy population. From top left to bottom right: (a) all reachable points, (b) points reachable by at least five individuals, (c) reachable by at least ten individuals, (d) reachable by at least 15 individuals, (e) reachable by at least 20 individuals, and (f) reachable by all individuals.

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Fig. 8

Three-dimensional views of the overlapping reachable spaces for the index finger of the RFA population. From top left to bottom right: (a) all reachable points, (b) points reachable by at least five individuals, (c) reachable by at least ten individuals, (d) reachable by at least 15 individuals, and (e) reachable by at least 18 individuals (the maximum out of 21 total in group).



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