The importance of abductor pollicis longus in wrist motions: a physiological wrist simulator study

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Title: The importance of abductor pollicis longus in wrist motions: a physiological wrist simulator study
Authors: Shah, D
Middleton, C
Gurdezi, S
Horwitz, M
Kedgley, AE
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The abductor pollicis longus (APL) is one of the primary radial deviators of the wrist, owing to its insertion at the base of the first metacarpal and its large moment arm about the radioulnar deviation axis. Although it plays a vital role in surgical reconstructions of the wrist and hand, it is often neglected while simulating wrist motions in vitro. The aim of this study was to observe the effects of the absence of APL on the distribution of muscle forces during wrist motions. A validated physiological wrist simulator was used to replicate cyclic planar and complex wrist motions in cadaveric specimens by applying tensile loads to six wrist muscles – flexor carpi radialis (FCR), flexor carpi ulnaris, extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL), extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) and APL. Resultant muscle forces for active wrist motions with and without actuating the APL were compared. The absence of APL resulted in higher forces in FCR and ECRL – the synergists of APL – and lower forces in ECU – the antagonist of APL. The altered distribution of wrist muscle forces observed in the absence of active APL control could significantly alter the efficacy of in vitro experiments conducted on wrist simulators, in particular when investigating those surgical reconstructions or rehabilitation of the wrist heavily reliant on the APL, such as treatments for basal thumb osteoarthritis.
Issue Date: 22-Aug-2018
Date of Acceptance: 4-Jul-2018
ISSN: 0021-9290
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 218
End Page: 222
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Biomechanics
Volume: 77
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Sponsor/Funder: Arthritis Research UK
The Royal Society
Funder's Grant Number: 20556
Keywords: Abductor pollicis longus
Muscle forces
Wrist simulator
0903 Biomedical Engineering
1106 Human Movement And Sports Science
0913 Mechanical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-07-24
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering

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