Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Data collected from six left forearms of fresh human cadavers were used to deduce the functional behavior of the muscle-tendon units acting upon the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint of the thumb. The data supplied direct information regarding tendon excursions and was used to derive moment arms of each tendon over the normal range of thumb motion. Preparation of the cadaver hands included replacement of the eight muscle-tendons crossing the joint with surgical steel suture material and immobilization of the interphalangeal joint and the metacarpophalangeal joint by insertion of a Kirschner-wire (K-wire) through the intrameduallary canal of the phalanges of the thumb. The K-wire did not disturb the function of the CMC joint. In order to generalize the characteristics of the muscle-tendon units and formulate the tendon transfer operations, mathematical models of the tendon excursions based on the CMC joint of the thumb were derived and evaluated by applying a parametic optimization technique. In this optimization technique, the parameters of the models were optimized by comparing the experimental data to the theoretical values of tendon excursions. The averaged magnitude of the moment arms and the direction of movement of the eight muscle-tendon units were derived and tabulated. They show the functional behavior of the tendons during thumb motion and offer information for tendon transfer surgery.