The metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint is crucial for hand function, but is frequently affected by arthritis, leading to pain and disability. This paper reviews the biomechanics of the normal and diseased joint in order to help consider the design of improved MCP joint replacement implants. The normal MCP joint enables a large range of motion in flexion/extension and abduction/adduction as well as a few degrees of rotation. A normal joint typically allows 90 degrees flexion, with a grip strength of up to 672N. The diseased joint has a reduced range of motion ( typically 30 degrees flexion) and reduced hand strength compared to the normal joint. Current MCP joint replacement implants generally try to recreate the range of motion of the normal joint; however, many designs are prone to fracture, as they are unable to withstand the conditions of the diseased joint. It may be beneficial for future implant designs to provide just a functional range of motion. Future designs of MCP joint replacement implants need to be more durable and last longer. Careful consideration of the diseased joint, rather than the normal joint, may help to better de. ne the requirements for such implants.
- joint replacement
- metacarpophalangeal joint