Previous elbow kinematic studies have created some controversy because of conflicting and contradictory results. The lack of consistent results may be traced to the limitations and definitions of the specific measurement techniques, as well as individual variations in the specimens. To resolve this issue, a rigorous theoretical analysis of elbow kinematics was performed based on available anatomic and geometric data of the skeleton with consideration of anthropometric variations. Three definitions have been adopted previously for the measurement of the carrying angle of the elbow joint. The relationships of these three definitions of the carrying angle as a function of the elbow joint flexion angle were evaluated. Clinically, the dynamic change of carrying angle may have little practical significance. However, the variation is reflected in differences in design criteria of the resurfacing and semiconstrained elbow replacement implants.
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