Development of a Complete Upper Extremity Model for Assessment of Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, and Finger Motion

  • Ana P. B. B. Arantes University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
  • Usha Kuruganti University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
  • Victoria Chester University of New Brunswick, Fredericton


Upper extremity function is crucial to many activities of daily living, as well as to an individual's level of independence and quality of life. Several neurological disorders and diseases such as muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and stroke can negatively affect upper extremity strength and motion. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, in 2013, approximately 741,800 Canadians were living with the effects of a stroke. It is estimated that between 50-80% of this population had to undergo some form of rehabilitation in order to regain movement and strength in upper limbs. A better understanding of human movement may improve treatment methods and evaluation of patient progress. The use of stereo-photogrammetry motion capture, for instance, can provide accurate quantitative information on upper extremity kinematics using comprehensive mechanical models. This information can help clinicians provide more effective treatment strategies. Most upper extremity kinematic models used in biomechanical and clinical research today do not include finger and thumb segments due to their complexity. In order to evaluate hand functionality, a hand kinematic model must be used separately. However, in the rehabilitation field, it has been shown that improving hand and wrist function improves how a patient moves their, shoulders, and elbow. For this reason, when using motion capture to evaluate the progress of a patient with loss of hand motor ability, having a kinematic model that assesses shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger joint motion is of paramount importance. The aim of this research was to develop and test the reliability of a complete upper extremity kinematic model, including the finger and thumb segments, that is feasible and clinically meaningful for the evaluation of upper extremity and finger motion.
How to Cite
A. Arantes, U. Kuruganti, and V. Chester, “Development of a Complete Upper Extremity Model for Assessment of Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, and Finger Motion”, CMBES, vol. 41, May 2018.