Influence of index finger proximal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis on precision pinch kinematics

Mathieu Domalain, Peter J. Evans, William H. Seitz, Zong Ming Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose To evaluate the impact of proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint arthrodesis on the kinematics of precision pinch. Methods Eleven healthy subjects performed index finger-thumb pinch motions under 4 conditions: unrestricted thumb and index finger (CONTROL) and fusion of the PIP joint of the index finger in flexion of 30° (PIP30), 40° (PIP40), and 50° (PIP50). Fusion was simulated with metallic splints. Kinematics of the thumb and index finger were recorded with a motion capture system. Results Proximal interphalangeal joint fusion at 30°, 40°, and 50° restricted maximal pinch span between the thumb tip and index finger tip by 6%, 10%, and 14%, respectively. At the time of pulp contact, PIP fusion led to an increase in index metacarpophalangeal joint flexion angle for the PIP30 condition and an increase in variability of thumb tip location for the PIP50 condition. Furthermore, the dynamic coordination between joint angles throughout the movement was affected by PIP fusion. Conclusions This study reports impairment in the kinematics of precision pinch associated with index finger PIP joint fusion. A PIP joint fusion at 40° to 50° leads to a more natural precision pinch posture, but it restricts the aperture and reduces pinch precision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1944-1949
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Arthrodesis
  • Finger coordination
  • Precision pinch
  • Proximal interphalangeal joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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