Orientation and location of the finite helical axis of the equine forelimb joints

Kaashoek, Mariëlle, Hobbs, Sarah Jane orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1552-8647, Clayton, Hilary Mary, Aerts, Peter and Nauwelaerts, Sandra (2019) Orientation and location of the finite helical axis of the equine forelimb joints. Journal of Morphology, 280 (5). pp. 712-721. ISSN 0362-2525

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/jmor.20978


To reduce anatomically unrealistic limb postures in a virtual musculoskeletal model of a horse's forelimb, accurate knowledge on forelimb joint constraints is essential. The aim of this cadaver study is to report all orientation and position changes of the finite helical axes (FHA) as a function of joint angle for different equine forelimb joints. Five horse cadaver forelimbs with standardized cuts at the midlevel of each segment were used. Bone pins with reflective marker triads were drilled into the forelimb bones. Unless joint angles were anatomically coupled, each joint was manually moved independently in all three rotational degrees of freedom (flexion-extension, abduction-adduction, internal-external rotation). The 3D coordinates of the marker triads were recorded using a six infra-red camera system. The FHA and its orientational and positional properties were calculated and expressed against joint angle over the entire range of motion using a finite helical axis method. When coupled, joint angles and FHA were expressed in function of flexion-extension angle. Flexion-extension movement was substantial in all forelimb joints, the shoulder allowed additional considerable motion in all three rotational degrees of freedoms. The position of the FHA was constant in the fetlock and elbow and a constant orientation of the FHA was found in the shoulder. Orientation and position changes of the FHA over the entire range of motion were observed in the carpus and the interphalangeal joints. We report FHA position and orientation changes as a function of flexion-extension angle to allow for inclusion in a musculoskeletal model of a horse to minimize calculation errors caused by incorrect location of the FHA. [Abstract copyright: © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.]

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