A Systematic Review of Dynamometry and its Role in Hand Trauma Assessment

Mafi P1, Mafi R1, Hindocha S*, 2 , 3 , Griffin M2, Khan W4
1 The Hull York Medical School, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
2 Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre, University of Manchester, 131 Princess Street, M17DN, UK
3 Department of Plastic Surgery, Whiston General Hospital, Liverpool, L355DR, UK
4 University College London Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 4LP, UK

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© Mafi et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Plastic Surgery, Whiston Hospital, Warrington Road, Liver pool, L355DR, UK; Tel: 01244366265; Fax: 01244366265; E-mail:


The dynamometer was developed by American neurologists and came into general use in the late 19th century. It is still used in various ways as a diagnostic and prognostic tool in clinical settings. In this systematic review we assessed in detail the different uses of dynamometry, its reliability, different dynamometers used and the influence of rater experience by bringing together and evaluating all published literature in this field. It was found that dynamometry is applied in a wide range of medical conditions. Furthermore, the great majority of studies reported acceptable to high reliability of dynamometry. Jamar mechanical dynamometer was used most often in the studies reviewed. There were mixed results concerning the effect of rater experience. The factors influencing the results of dynamometry were identified as age, gender, body weight, grip strength, BMI, non/dominant hand, assessing upper/lower limbs, rater and patient’s strength and the distance from the joint where the dynamometer is placed. This review provides an understanding of the relevance and significance of dynamometry which should serve as a starting point to guide its use in hand trauma assessment. On the basis of our findings, we suggest that hand dynamometry has a great potential, and could be used more often in clinical practice.

Keywords: Dynamometer, Jamar mechanical dynamometer, grip strength, hand trauma, systematic review.