Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Medical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Tycho Fredericks

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Kenter

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Butt


This study explored the precision of the “push/thumb” test conducted during orthopedic joint replacement. Participants were eight orthopedic residents ranging from three to five years of experience. Three sets of six simulated bones were 3D printed at varying density to mimic the variation surgeons may experience from patients in real life. Bone sets were randomized for two experiments. Both experiments had subjects conduct the “push/thumb” test on the simulated bone sets and binary responses were recorded. For experiment 2, subjects were provided a reference tool to utilize during the “push/thumb” test to determine if said tool had a positive impact on subject precision. Results suggested that the precision of the “push/thumb” test is lower than the set theoretical ideal. However, results also suggest the addition of reference tool has a positive impact on said precision. Results are discussed in terms of subject intra/inter precision, response variability, and compared to a theoretical ideal response curve.