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Mapping the Dart Thrower's Arc

AAOS Now—January 31, 2011

Grant recipients use OREF funding to study wrist motion (subhead)

Nearly everyone, it seems, has what it takes to play a decent game of darts. Studies have shown that the movement of the wrist needed to throw a dart, generating a certain degree of force and reaching a desired target, is employed in such activities as combing hair, tying a shoe, and pouring from a pitcher.

Although this motion may be common, it’s not well understood. What is known doesn’t significantly inform treatment choices for wrist disorders and treatment outcome assessments.

Scott W. Wolfe, M.D., and Howard J. Hillstrom, Ph.D., received a 2007 Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Research Grant to document the presence of the dart thrower’s arc in a series of functional activities and to assess differences in patterns of motion associated with the surgical fusion of wrist bones.

Dr. Wolfe is chief of hand surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City; Dr. Hillstrom is a biomedical engineer and director of the HSS Leon Root, MD, Motion Analysis Laboratory. The OREF Research Grant provides up to $50,000 in start-up funding annually for up to 2 years.

For more information please visit

Scott Wolfe, MD
Upper Extremity Surgeon
Dr. Wolfe is an internationally recognized Hand, Wrist and Peripheral Nerve Surgeon
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