Date of Award

Spring 1993

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Harris, Gerald F.

Second Advisor

Myklebust, Joel

Third Advisor

Riedel, Susan A.


A quantitative investigation of wrist strength and torque is needed due to the limited information available about wrist assessment. There are many different factors which affect assessment of the wrist such as the height and weight of the body, the wrist joints and muscles, and the continued activities inside the body itself. The way these factors combine to contribute to the torque and strength at the wrist is not well-defined nor completely understood. For many years measurement of strength in the upper extremity has been a vigorous field of research, resulting in several measurement devices and reports. Most of these efforts focused on motion of the wrist joint and hand strength. Hence the purpose of this thesis was to construct a wrist assessment device and develop the software and hardware required to simultaneously acquire and analyze the torque and force data and provide visual feedback during subject testing. The contribution presented herein is an instrumented wrist assessment device for measuring wrist torque and strength due to the flexors, extensors and radial-ulnar deviators during isometric contraction of the wrist joint. Chapter 1 introduces the wrist assessment device and provides a brief description of the objectives behind this project. Chapter 2 contains a brief overview of the wrist anatomy and a review of the previous work in the area of upper extremity measurement. Chapter 3 describes in detail the components of the wrist assessment device. It also explains the testing methods including the calibration of the system, the testing protocol, and the tested patients. Chapter 4 includes the data analysis and the results. Chapter 5 includes the discussion of the overall results, evaluation of the system, and some recommendations for future wark. Appendix A provides data from a sample calibration of the system. It includes the regression equations which were used to construct the calibration matrices. Appendix B provides the actual test graphs and results obtained from a tested subject. Appendix C includes the software programs used to acquire the data and analyze this data to find the average and maximum torques and strength at the wrist due to the flexors, extensors and radial-ulnar deviators, area of the torque vs. time curves for flexion, extension, radial and ulnar deviation and the area traced by the real time curve of flexion-extension vs. radia-lulnar deviation.



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