The Convex-Concave Rules of Arthrokinematics: Flawed or Perhaps Just Misinterpreted?
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Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
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The convex-concave rules purportedly help describe the roll-and-slide relationships that naturally occur between moving articular surfaces. There are 2 components of this rule, depending on whether the convex or concave articular member of the joint is considered the moving segment. As a teacher of kinesiology and a physical therapist, I have always respected these rules, primarily because of their ability to assist with the mental imaging of joint motion. Recently, I have been perplexed by questions from experienced physical therapists as to why the convex-concave rules are still being taught in college or continuing education venues, when research has shown that they are flawed. Perhaps I am so hopelessly infatuated with, and blinded by, the educational charm and utility of the convex-concave rules that I fail to realize they are flawed. Are they? I don’t think so, which is the topic of this editorial.