Elbow motion patterns during daily activity
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BACKGROUND: This in vivo kinematic study was developed to ascertain (1) elbow posture and motion during daily activities and (2) to compare motions of the dominant and nondominant elbows. METHODS: Forty-six subjects wore a custom instrumented shirt to continuously measure elbow posture and motion for the waking hours of 1 day. The 3D orientations of each of the forearm and humerus sensors enabled calculation of elbow flexion-extension and pronation-supination angles. RESULTS: The elbow flexion-extension postures that were most common ranged from 60°-100° for both the dominant and nondominant extremities averaging 44% ± 4% and 35% ± 4% of the day, respectively. When elbow flexion motions were calculated, there were a large number of motions over a wide distribution of flexion angles, with the dominant side exhibiting significantly more motions per hour than the nondominant side. CONCLUSION: Both flexion-extension and pronation-supination motions occur more commonly in the dominant arm, and the dominant arm is more commonly in pronation. These data provide a baseline for assessing treatment outcomes, ergonomic studies, and elbow arthroplasty wear testing.
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