The shape and kinematics of the triquetrum-hamate joint have been the subject of continued research, as its articulation provides wrist stability and motion. The purpose of this study was to measure the in vivo articulation of the triquetrum-hamate joint as the wrist moves along an important functional wrist motion, the dart thrower's path.Methods:
The right wrist of six male and six female volunteers (average age [and standard deviation], 24.8 ± 3.8 years) were imaged with computed tomography in five positions along a simulated hammering task. Three-dimensional kinematics of the third metacarpal, triquetrum, hamate, and radius were analyzed with use of the rotation axis and the path of contact areas.Results:
As the wrist ulnar-flexed with respect to the radius, the triquetrum translated 3.7 ± 1.7 mm distally on the hamate. Approximately midway through this distal course, when the triquetrum appeared to engage the distal ridge of the hamate, the triquetrum began translating volarly. Total volar translation was 2.6 ± 1.1 mm. As the wrist ulnar-flexed, there was also a decrease in the distance and variability in the location of the triquetrum-hamate rotation axis from the hamate centroid: it decreased from 11.7 ± 4.1 mm to 3.3 ± 1.4 mm (p < 0.0001).Conclusions:
Our findings support the concept that the triquetrum rotates on the convex ellipsoid surface of the hamate and that the helicoidal description of the triquetrum's motion on the hamate may be an oversimplification.Clinical Relevance:
Our results suggest that the triquetrum-hamate joint is less constrained in radial extension than it is in ulnar flexion. The concave distal ridge of the hamate may guide the triquetrum toward the hook of the hamate until it is fully engaged, which could block further ulnar deviation of the wrist. This may provide carpal stability while also serving as a rationale for triquetrum excision to increase the range of motion of the wrist.