New study seeks a ‘motion fingerprint’ for wrists

Bridging the forearm with the hand, our wrists are examples of incredibly complex engineering.

Brooke Slavens, associate professor in the College of Health Sciences, is involved in a study that aims to develop a “motion fingerprint” for healthy wrists.

A better understanding of how the joints and bones in the wrist work together to execute a multitude of fine movements will help health care providers identify abnormal movements caused by various kinds of wrist injuries or conditions.

Lead researcher Kevin Koch, professor of radiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, will assess and collect a set of metrics derived from MRIs that captures the properties of healthy wrist movements.

Slavens will use specialized motion-capture equipment in her Mobility Laboratory at UWM’s Innovation Campus to provide external images of the same wrist movements so they can be compared with and validate the MRI data.

“This work holds important promise for faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment plans for orthopedics patients in the future,” Slavens said.

The two-year study is funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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