1992-07-01

A Feasibility Study of Hand Kinematics for EVA Analysis Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging 921253

A new method of analyzing the kinematics of joint motion is developed in this study. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) offers several distinct advantages. Past methods of studying anatomic joint motion have usually centered on four approaches. These methods are x-ray projection, goniometric linkage analysis, sonic digitization, and landmark measurement of photogrammetry. Of these four, only x-ray is applicable for in vivo studies. The remaining three methods utilize other types of projections of inter-joint measurements, which can cause various types of error. MRI offers accuracy in measurement due to its tomographic nature (as opposed to projection) without the problems associated with x-ray dosage.
Once the data acquisition of MR images was complete, the images for this study were processed using a 3-D volume rendering workstation. In this study, the metacarpalphalangeal (MCP) joint of the left index finger was selected and reconstructed into a three-dimensional graphic display. From the reconstructed volumetric images, measurements of the angles of movement of the applicable bones were obtained and processed by analyzing the screw motion of the MCP joint. Landmark positions were chosen at distinctive locations of the joint at fixed image threshold intensity levels to ensure repeatability. The primarily twodimensional planar motion of this joint was then studied using a method of constructing coordinate systems using three (or more) points. A transformation matrix based on a world coordinate system described the location and orientation of a local target coordinate system.
This study will lead to future research involving volume rendering of MRI data focusing on the internal kinematics of the hand's individual ligaments, cartilage, tendons, etc. Its findings will show the applicability of MRI to joint kinematics for gaining further knowledge of the hand-glove (power-assisted) design for EVA.

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