Development of a dynamic index finger and thumb model to study impairment

Alexander J. Barry*, Wendy M. Murray, Derek G. Kamper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Modeling of the human hand provides insight for explaining deficits and planning treatment following injury. Creation of a dynamic model, however, is complicated by the actions of multi-articular tendons and their complex interactions with other soft tissues in the hand. This study explores the creation of a musculoskeletal model, including the thumb and index finger, to explore the effects of muscle activation deficits. The OpenSim model utilizes physiological axes of rotation at all joints, passive joint torques, and appropriate moment arms. The model was validated through comparison with kinematic and kinetic experimental data. Simulated fingertip forces resulting from modeled musculotendon loading largely fell within one standard deviation of experimental ranges for most index finger and thumb muscles, although agreement in the sagittal plane was generally better than for the coronal plane. Input of experimentally obtained electromyography data produced the expected simulated finger and thumb motion. Use of the model to predict the effects of activation deficits on pinch force production revealed that the intrinsic muscles, especially first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and adductor pollicis (ADP), had a substantial impact on the resulting fingertip force. Reducing FDI activation, such as might occur following stroke, altered fingertip force direction by up to 83° for production of a dorsal fingertip force; reducing ADP activation reduced force production in the thumb by up to 62%. This validated model can provide a means for evaluating clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-210
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - Aug 22 2018


  • Hand
  • Musculoskeletal modelling
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a dynamic index finger and thumb model to study impairment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this