The Littler line method and the area under a Gaussian curve: A new method of assessing digital range of motion

L. W. Catalano, R. H. Browne, P. R. Carter, A. C. Frobish, M. Ezaki, J. W. Littler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


A new method of measuring digital range of motion (the Littler line method) is presented. When a Gaussian curve is centered over the Littler line and the appropriate area under the curve is computed, this area can provide a measure of the functional range of motion regained by an injured digit. Seventeen children (24 digits) with flexor tendon injuries were evaluated at an average follow-up period of 58 months (range, 12-121 months). The Littler line/Gaussian curve method was found to be more reproducible than total active motion, particularly in zone I and II injuries. This method can serve as a more meaningful functional assessment tool than a linear measurement such as total active motion, because it emphasizes digital motion in the mid-ranges of digital motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001



  • Gaussian curve
  • Littler line method
  • Total active motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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