Mechanical properties of human pulleys

G. T. Lin, W. P. Cooney, P. C. Amadio, K. N. an

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


In order to determine the mechanical properties of the fibro-osseous pulleys in the hand, the diaphyseal annular pulleys, the volar plate annular pulleys and the cruciate or condensable portions were tested. A custom-made loading device provided proper fit of the soft tissues for a uniform distribution of the pulley load during testing. The A2 pulley was found to be the strongest of the pulleys; the A1 and A4 were the next strongest. The A3 pulley was nearly equal in mean breaking strength to the other annular pulleys, but in absolute breaking load was considerably weaker because of its shortness. The A4 was the least compliant of the pulleys. We concluded that the fibro-osseous A2 and A4 were mechanically stronger and stiffer pulleys than the A1, A3, A5 (volar plate) pulleys. In testing one type of pulley reconstruction, we found that the “belt loop” technique of Karev nearly matched the annular pulleys in strength and energy absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-434
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery (British and European Volume)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanical properties of human pulleys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this