A study of the cracking sounds from the metacarpophalangeal joint

P. Watson, W. G. Kernohan, R.A.B. Mollan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The familiar cracking sounds produced by distraction of the metacarpophalangeal joints were studied using accelerometers and a computerized signal analysis system. The joints were distracted in a controlled manner using a motorized device which simultaneously monitored the load on the joint and its extension. The load and extension parameters and those from the signal analysis were used to examine diurnal variation, the effects of multiple distractions, distraction speed, hand temperature and loading between distractions, and to show that in many cases, the energy contained in a crack signal, expressed as a ratio of the articular cartilage volume, exceeded a known level needed to produce articular cartilage damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jun 1989


  • Vibration arthrometry
  • Finger Movement Classification
  • Joint Measurement


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