jbmr_v18_p45 - 45 Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal...

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Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 18 (2005) 45–49 45 IOS Press Terminology used in the analysis of joint function Mirthe de Groot , Cornelis W. Spoor and Chris J. Snijders Department of Biomedical Physics and Technology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Abstract . Joint function is described by biomechanical parameters like range of motion (ROM), stiffness, laxity and stability. However, these terms are frequently used ambiguously. Due to the lack in standardisation, it is difficult to compare results of examinations. A literature survey is performed and an inventory is made about the definitions used for the terms. The final definition for ROM is the range of translation and rotation through which a joint may be actively or passively moved in a certain direction. Joint stiffness describes the resistance of the joint to imposed relative movement between two joint surfaces. Laxity is the normal amount of motion that results from passive forces or moments and stability is the ability to control positions or movements of joints. Keywords: Stiffness, laxity, range of motion, stability 1. Introduction A human joint can be viewed as a collection of mov- able parts whose purpose is to accept, transfer and dis- sipate loads generated at the lever arms of bones [7]. The joint should manifest normal biomechanical pa- rameters such as laxity, stiffness, range of motion and stability to achieve normal function in daily life. These terms are closely related to each other. A lot of articles describe studies of the assessment of these parameters. However, clinicians and researchers do not always give a clear description of the joint func- tion they measured [15,28]. In other cases, descrip- tions are given, but they are not unambiguous [27,36]. It is hard to communicate and it is also very difficult to compare measurements when the definitions are not clear or even not given. To come to clear terminology, a literature survey is done. The definitions are studied and compared to Address for correspondence: Mirthe de Groot, Department of Biomedical Physics and Technology, Erasmus MC, University Med- ical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Tel.: +31 10 4087375; Fax: +31 10 4089463; E-mail: m.degroot@erasmusmc.nl. each other. Finally, overall conclusions about the terms are made. The findings of this literature survey are considered below and they are summarised in Table 1. 2. Terminology 2.1. Range of motion With the combination of uniaxial, biaxial and mul- tiaxial joints, the body is able to adopt a multitude of functional positions. The range of motion (ROM) of a joint is the range of rotation or translation through which a joint can be moved between the physiologic extremes. The ROM can be expressed for each of the six degrees of freedom. For example, one ROM of the shoulder joint (Fig. 1) would be the number of de- grees rotated between the points of full extension and
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This note was uploaded on 07/30/2011 for the course ME 492 taught by Professor Hojinahn during the Spring '11 term at Yeditepe Üniversitesi.

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jbmr_v18_p45 - 45 Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal...

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