Three-dimensional kinematic analysis of the second through fifth carpometacarpal joints

M. El-Shennawy, K. Nakamura, R. M. Patterson, S. F. Viegas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The kinematics of the 2nd through 5th carpometacarpal (CMC) joints was investigated by using a 3-dimensional dynamic motion analysis system to delineate flexion-extension motion, radial-ulnar deviation, and pronation-supination motion. Analysis of the axes of rotation revealed that the axes of rotation for flexion-extension motion are located within the base of each respective metacarpal bone. The axis of rotation for radial-ulnar deviation passes through the distal carpal bone of each CMC joint except in the 3rd CMC joint where the axis of rotation is located within the base of the 3rd metacarpal. The axis of rotation for pronation-supination motion passes through the base of the respective metacarpal except in the 3rd CMC joint where it is located within the hamate. The overall flexion-extension motions of the 2nd and 3rd carpometacarpal (CMC) joints were found to be more limited than those of the 4th and 5th CMC joints (11°, 7° to 20°, 27°, 271°, respectively) and even more so in radial-ulnar deviation (2°, 4° to 7°, 13°, respectively) and pronation-supination motion (5°, 5° to 27°, 22°, respectively). The 5th CMC joint has the greatest overall range of motion with the flexion-extension motion found to be greatly reduced by 40% to 28° when the 4th CMC joint was immobilized. Maximum range of motion in flexion-extension of the 5th CMC joint is dependent on and contributed by the 4th CMC joint motion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1035
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Carpometacarpal joint
  • Kinematics
  • Motion analysis
  • Wrist


Dive into the research topics of 'Three-dimensional kinematic analysis of the second through fifth carpometacarpal joints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this