Biomechanical study of the efficacy of a new design of wrist guard

M L Maurel, Lisa G Fitzgerald, Anthony W Miles, Grey E B Giddins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background:
Upper extremity injuries are frequent in the elderly or those undertaking extreme sporting activities. Commercially available wrist guards reduce the frequency of wrist fractures but are not widely used as they greatly restrict movement.

Methods:
A new wrist guard was developed which provided protection to the “impact area” but does not restrict wrist or digital movement. A human hand model and a biomechanical test rig, which allowed the simulation of an adult fall from height, were developed. The ability of the new guard, which was tested with different levels of padding, to reduce peak impact forces and absorb energy on impact was measured and compared to a commercially available wrist guard.

Findings:
The use of any guard reduced peak impact forces by a minimum of 31.8%. The new guard, despite a substantially reduced impact surface area, demonstrated the same reductions in peak force (48%) and ability to absorb energy on impact as the standard guard when fitted with comparable levels of padding.

Interpretation:
These results indicate that the new guard, which allows movement of the wrist and digits, demonstrates the same ability to reduce impact forces and absorb energy as a commercially available guard despite its substantially reduced impact area. Such a guard may provide a better compromise between joint flexibility and protection than the status quo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-513
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Volume25
Issue number5
Early online date10 May 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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