Background: The midcarpal joint and the radiocarpal joint contribute to the extension and flexion of the wrist. Little is known about the contribution of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) to the extension and flexion of the wrist. This study evaluated the ulnar motion in extension and flexion of the wrist using computed tomography (CT) imaging. Methods: A total of 30 wrists of healthy volunteers were enrolled. CT images of the axial sections of the DRUJ were obtained with 3 different positions of the wrist: 0° of extension (straight position), maximum active extension, and maximum active flexion. Each wrist motion was performed with 3 different forearm positions: neutral, pronation, and supination. Ulnar position at the DRUJ level was measured and ulnar position with the wrist in straight position was defined as baseline. The ulnar position was recorded as positive value when the position of the ulnar head was volar side and negative value when the position of the ulnar head was dorsal side. The difference from baseline in a position of maximum extension and flexion was evaluated. Results: In forearm neutral position and pronation, a value of ulnar position in maximum wrist flexion is significantly negative compared to that in the wrist straight position: the ulnar head moved dorsally from the wrist straight position to wrist flexion. In forearm supination, a value of ulnar position in maximum wrist extension is significantly positive compared to that in the wrist straight position: the ulnar head moved to the volar side from the wrist straight position to wrist extension. Conclusions: The ulnar head moves during extension and flexion of the wrist. The direction of the ulnar motion was different according to the wrist and forearm position.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine