Incorporating the length-dependent passive-force generating muscle properties of the extrinsic finger muscles into a wrist and finger biomechanical musculoskeletal model

Benjamin I. Binder-Markey, Wendy M. Murray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dynamic movement trajectories of low mass systems have been shown to be predominantly influenced by passive viscoelastic joint forces and torques compared to momentum and inertia. The hand is comprised of 27 small mass segments. Because of the influence of the extrinsic finger muscles, the passive torques about each finger joint become a complex function dependent on the posture of multiple joints of the distal upper limb. However, biomechanical models implemented for the dynamic simulation of hand movements generally don't extend proximally to include the wrist and distal upper limb. Thus, they cannot accurately represent these complex passive torques. The purpose of this short communication is to both describe a method to incorporate the length-dependent passive properties of the extrinsic index finger muscles into a biomechanical model of the upper limb and to demonstrate their influence on combined movement of the wrist and fingers. Leveraging a unique set of experimental data, that describes the net passive torque contributed by the extrinsic finger muscles about the metacarpophalangeal joint of the index finger as a function of both metacarpophalangeal and wrist postures, we simulated the length-dependent passive properties of the extrinsic finger muscles. Dynamic forward simulations demonstrate that a model including these properties passively exhibits coordinated movement between the wrist and finger joints, mimicking tenodesis, a behavior that is absent when the length-dependent properties are removed. This work emphasizes the importance of incorporating the length-dependent properties of the extrinsic finger muscles into biomechanical models to study healthy and impaired hand movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-257
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Volume61
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 16 2017

Keywords

  • Extrinsic finger muscles
  • Finger
  • Hand
  • Musculoskeletal modeling
  • Passive torque
  • Wrist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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