Method for the measurement of friction between tendon and pulley

S. Uchiyama, J. H. Coert, L. Berglund, P. C. Amadio, K. ‐N An

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119 Scopus citations


An experimental system was developed that allows direct measurement of friction at the tendon‐pulley interface, and the results were interpreted by use of a theoretical model for friction of a cable around a fixed pulley. Validation experiments were conducted with a nylon cable around a nylon rod. One end of the cable was connected to an actuator via a load cell, and the other end was connected to a 4.9 N load via a similar load cell. The cable was passed around the nylon rod and then pulled toward the actuator. Tests were performed at five different arcs of contact. The friction forces, as measured by the difference between two load transducers, were compared with those determined for a theoretical model and were used for calculation of the friction coefficient. The measurement system then was used to study the friction force between the flexor digitorum profundus tendon and the A2 pulley on nine fresh frozen index digits. The method allows us to measure the direct interaction between the tendon and pulley and could be used to evaluate and compare procedures for tendon‐pulley and pulley repair and reconstruction, as well as for the study of tendon‐pulley friction in various pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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