Load mechanics of the midcarpal joint

Steven F. Viegas, Rita M. Patterson, Pamela D. Todd, Paul McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The midcarpal joint was studied in upper extremities of fresh cadavers with the use of a static positioning frame, pressure-sensitive film, and a microcomputer to analyze the contact prints. The contact area on the proximal side of the midcarpal joint was found to consist generally of four areas; the scaphoid-trapezium-trapezoid, the scaphoid-capitate, the lunate-capitate, and the triquetrum-hamate. The contact areas accounted for less than 40% of the available joint surface, even under loads of 118 pounds. The distribution of load through the midcarpal joint was scaphoid-trapezium-trapezoid 23%, scaphoid-capitate 28%, lunate-capitate 29%, and triquetrum-hamate 20%. The midcarpal joint, like the radiocarpal joint, appears to transmit load through distinct areas and through a relatively small portion of the available joint surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-18
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993


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