Date of Award

Fall 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Harris, Gerald F.

Second Advisor

Fritz, Jessica

Third Advisor

Daley, Roger


An understanding of wrist dynamics during functional movements is required to better diagnose and treat wrist injury and disease. Currently, there is a lack of upper extremity (UE) models that combine both the motions and resulting forces that occur in the wrist during daily activities. The purpose of this study is to create a three-dimensional (3D) model of the upper extremity that describes kinematics and wrist kinetics during functional activities. A model of this type could benefit clinical diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care of orthopaedic and neurological disorders of the wrist. The created dynamic wrist model was used to test ten normal subjects during seven tasks (flexion/extension, radial/ulnar deviation, pronation/supination, hammering, jar opening, door-opening, and isometric pushing). Primary and secondary wrist motions were described for each task, as well as tri-axial forces and moments at the wrist for jar opening, door-opening, and isometric push tasks. These data were stratified by gender to demonstrate the model’s capacity to compare populations. Data were analyzed and showed that there were very few significant differences between male and female populations. This model demonstrates potential for clinical use for pre- and post-treatment assessment and initial wrist function baseline assessment.