Arthrometry is the measurement of the range of
contact each other. The device actually performing the
joint measurement is known as an arthrometer. Such
devices are clamped and strapped over a joint area and
information about the range of movement is sent to a
reference pad which is then analyzed by a computer.
These devices are usually quite large and are used
over the ankle joints, knee joints, and other joints. The
use of these devices is helpful for doctors in diagnosing
abnormalities, such as partial versus complete ligament
tears. A ligament is a tough band of tissue that attaches
to joint bones.
An arthrometer measuring
range of movement in the leg.
Because arthrometers measure range of motion they are used to measure treatment
progress, such as rehabilitation of a shoulder injury. This information is very useful in
determining when an injured athlete can return to sports. However, many insurance
companies consider the use of arthrometers to be experimental and thus will not
reimburse for their use. Yet, this does not prevent many specialists from using them, such
as in military rehabilitation centers using them to measure treatment progress of veterans
who have suffered joint injuries. Arthrometry comes from the Greek word “arthro” meaning
“joint,” and the Greek word “metron” meaning “measure.” Put the words together and you
get “joint measure.”