Taylor Trentadue was rewarded this spring for research that was, literally, hands-on.

The Smithtown High School East senior is the inaugural recipient of Stony Brook University's Orthopaedic Musculoskeletal Scholarship, based on her research exploring the frequency of text messaging and the occurrence of symptoms of orthopedic trauma to hand joints.

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Trentadue said she came up with the idea when, while working as a summer intern for a Smithtown orthopedist, she noticed that many young patients were text messaging despite having hand or wrist injuries.

The scholarship is for $500.

"Keeping hands in that position causes strain in the muscles," said Trentadue, 17, who speculated that text messaging possibly could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis.

For her project, Trentadue surveyed 35 random classmates and determined 75 percent of them experienced some degree of pain from text messaging. However, a whopping 95 percent said they wouldn't change their text-messaging habits despite the pain.

Trentadue is president of her school's senior class, vice president of the Italian Honor Society, and captain of the forensics team. She plans to attend Duke University in the fall and study biomedical engineering and Italian.