Deviation of the Wrist

Last Updated: July 15, 2018

Definition - What does Deviation of the Wrist mean?

Deviation of the wrist relates to a functional motion in which case the metacarpal bones in the wrist articulate with the radius and ulna to perform side-to-side movements in a limited range of motion. Wrist deviation is characterized as radial deviation and ulnar deviation. Radial deviation means that the wrist performs abduction, or moves the hand in a proximal (center) direction toward the body. Conversely, ulnar deviation moves the wrist in a distal (away) direction from the body. Repetition of this motion, especially under stress, can result in workplace injuries.

WorkplaceTesting explains Deviation of the Wrist

Deviation of the wrist pertains to the articulation between the metacarpal bones in the wrist and the radio-ulnar joint, which permits sideways motion in the corresponding direction to the radius and ulna bones of the forearm. This means that the wrist can either perform radial deviation involving abduction, or shifting the wrist inward using the thumb as a proximal (close) marker, while ulnar deviation involves movement in the opposite direction using the pinkie as a distal (away) marker. The bidirectional movements of wrist deviation can be measured in terms of determining the degrees of range of motion, which is generally around twenty-five to forty degrees with ulnar deviation and fifteen to twenty-five degrees with radial deviation. Most common activities like writing, typing, or using the phone involve manipulation of the hands, which are a concomitant function of wrist deviations to complete various movements on a regular basis.

Repetition of this motion raises the risk of injury and that risk rises as the weight or number of repetitions increases. A good ergonomic workstation design and worker training in safety procedures can help reduce the risk of injury.

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