Kinematics of the wrist. II. Clinical applications.

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A reproducible method of measuring carpal height and carpal-ulnar distance and expressing them as ratios of these distances to the length of the third metacarpal, as reported in a previous paper9, was applied to serial roentgenograms of seventeen patients with rheumatoid disease and six patients with Kienböck's disease. These ratios provide an accurate expression of the extent of carpal collapse and of ulnar translation. However, once carpal collapse has occurred, the trajectory of hand motion becomes flattened, and, as a result, the carpal height ratio will vary as the wrist moves from maximum radial to maximum ulnar deviation. These ratios may be of use in predicting a patient's clinical course, but a larger clinical study is necessary before use of the measurements for this purpose can be recommended with assurance.

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