Anatomic and kinematic analysis of the human forearm using high-speed computed tomography

  • M. L. Robbin
  • K. N. An
  • R. L. Linscheid
  • E. L. Ritman


A new technique using computerised tomographic images was investi gated that allows a noninvasive description of the anatomy and kinematics of the human musculoskeletal system. These images were generated by the Dynamic Spatial Reconstructor, a high-speed CT scanner, with the ability to simultaneously scan multiple thin slices. Pronation/supination in a cadaveric forearn was used as the model for investigation. Three-dimensional shaded surface displays of the bony forearm were generated. These images are dimensionally accurate and allow the superposition of the results of mathematical modelling on the image for visual examination. The spatial location of bony markers was measured and calculated screw axis data superimposed on a computer generated surface display of the forearm skeleton. Applications of the technique include anatomic measurements not easily made with other systems, such as radial-ulnar interosseous distance as a function of forearm rotation and length and the amount of forearm rotation possible at various levels of forearm lengths.


Musculoskeletal kinematics Computerised tomography Forearm pronation supination 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anson, B. (1963)Atlas of human anatomy W. B. Saunders Company, second edition.Google Scholar
  2. Behrenbeck, T., Kinsey, J. H., Harris, L. D., Robb, R. A. andRitman, E. L. (1982) Three-dimensional spatial, density, and temporal resolution of the dynamic spatial reconstructor.J. Comp. Asst’d. Tomog.,6, 1138–1147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chao, E. Y. andMorrey, B. F. (1978) Three-dimensional rotation of the elbow.J. Biomech.,11, 57–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chao, E. Y., An, K. N., Askew, L. J. andMorrey, B. F. (1980) Electrogoniometer for the measurement of human elbow joint rotation.J. Biomech. Eng.,102, 301–310.Google Scholar
  5. Christensen, J. B., Adams, J. P., Cho, K. O. andMiller, L. (1968) A study of the interosseous distance between the radius and ulna during rotation of the forearm.Anat. Rec.,160, 261–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crippen, T. E., An, K. N. andTakahashi, K. (1982) Effects of measurement errors in describing human joint motion. Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, 178–182.Google Scholar
  7. Duchenne, G. B. A. (1949) Physiology of Motion, demonstration by means of electrical stimulation and clinical observation and applied to the study of paralysis and deformities. Lippincott, Philadelphia (translated by E. B. Kaplan).Google Scholar
  8. Dwight, T. (1885) The movements of the ulna in rotation of the forearm.J. Anat. Phys.,19, 186–189.Google Scholar
  9. Ecycleshymer, A. andSchoemaker, D. (1911)A cross sectional anatomy. Appleton-Century-Crofts, first edition.Google Scholar
  10. Gross, M. (1979) A quantative analysis of forearm musculature. Master’s thesis, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  11. Heiberg, J. (1884) The movement of the ulna in rotation of the forearm.J. Anat. & Physiol.,19, 237–240.Google Scholar
  12. Matthews, L., Kauffer, H., Garver, D. F. andSonstegard, D. A. (1982) The effect on supination-pronation on angular malalignment of fractures of both bones of the forearm.J. Bone & Joint Surg.,64-A, 14–17.Google Scholar
  13. Patrick, J. (1946) Study of supination and pronation, with special reference to the treatment of forearm fractures.,28, 737–748.Google Scholar
  14. Ray, R. D., Johnson, R. J. andJameson, R. M. (1951) Rotation of the forearm—an experimental study of pronation and supination.,33-A, 993–996.Google Scholar
  15. Ritman, E. L., Robb, R. A. andHarris, L. D. (1985) Imaging physiological function—experience with the dynamic spatial reconstructor. Praeger Press, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  16. Robbin, M. L., Erdman, A. G., Mayfield, J. K. andPeterson, S. W. (1981) Kinematic measurement of relative motion in the human wrist. Proceedings of the 1981 Advances in Bioengineering, ASME, 159–162.Google Scholar
  17. Spoor, C. W. andVeldpaus, F. E. (1980) Rigid body motion calculated from spatial coordinates of markers.J. Biomech.,13, 391–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Youm, Y., Dryer, R. F., Thambyrajah, K., Flatt, A. E. andSprague, B. L. (1979) Biomechanical analyses of forearm pronation-supination and elbow flexion-extension.,12, 245–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFMBE 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. Robbin
    • 1
  • K. N. An
    • 2
  • R. L. Linscheid
    • 2
  • E. L. Ritman
    • 3
  1. 1.Mayo Medical School Mayo Clinic/FoundationRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Orthopaedic Biomechanics LaboratoryMayo Clinic/FoundationRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyMayo Clinic/FoundationRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations