Wrist Range of Motion During Lateral Transfers Among Persons with Paraplegia

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Megan Yarnall, Alicia M. Koontz1, Yusheng Yang1, Robert Price2, Michael L. Boninger1

1Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Highland Drive VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is thought to be due in part to extreme range of wrist motion. To determine deviation and flexion/extension angles experienced during wheelchair transfers, nine manual wheelchair users performed three transfers to and from their wheelchair while motion analysis equipment recorded their movement. Average peak wrist joint angles to and from the wheelchair respectively were: flexion, 50±26 ° and 32±24 °; extension, 40±30 ° and 52±25 °; ulnar deviation: 37±20 ° and 32±20 °; and radial deviation: 36±29 ° and 35±23 °. Values for flexion and extension were found to be within the active range of wrist motion while radial and ulnar deviation went into the passive range of wrist motion. These findings show the possible impact of wheelchair transfers on the development of CTS.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Wheelchair transfer, Range of motion

Megan Yarnall
Human Engineering Research Labs
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Phone: (412) 365-4829
Fax: (412) 365-4858