Trapeziometacarpal joint contact varies between men and women during three isometric functional tasks MEDICAL ENGINEERING & PHYSICS Schneider, M. Y., Zhang, J., Crisco, J. J., Weiss, A. C., Ladd, A. L., Mithraratne, K., Nielsen, P., Besier, T. 2017; 50: 43–49


Trapeziometacarpal (TMC) joint osteoarthritis (OA) affects women two to six times more than men, and is influenced by stresses and strains in the cartilage. The purpose of this study was to characterise sex and age differences in contact area and peak stress location of the healthy TMC joint during three isometric tasks including pinch, grasp and jar twist. CT images of the hand from 50 healthy adult men and women were used to create a statistical shape model that was used to create finite element models for each subject and task. Force-driven simulations were performed to evaluate cartilage contact area and peak stress location. We tested for sex and age differences using Principal Component Analysis, linear regression, and Linear Discriminant Analysis. We observed sex differences in peak stress location during pinch (p = .0206), grasp (p = .0264), and jar twist (p = .0484). The greatest sex differences were observed during jar twist, where 94% of peak stresses in men were located in the centre compared with 50% in the central-volar region in women. These findings show that peak stress locations are more variable in women during grasp and jar twist than men, and suggest that women may employ different strategies to perform these tasks.

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