Three-Dimensional Recording and Description of Motions of the Shoulder Mechanism

[+] Author and Article Information
Frans C. T. van der Helm, Gijs M. Pronk

Man-Machine Systems Group, Lab. for Measurement and Control, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Marine Technology, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands

J Biomech Eng 117(1), 27-40 (Feb 01, 1995) (14 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2792267 History: Received December 06, 1991; Revised January 10, 1994; Online October 30, 2007


A measurement technique is presented for recording positions of the bones of the shoulder mechanism, i.e., thorax, clavicula, scapula and humerus, in 3-D space, based on palpating and recording positions of bony landmarks. The palpation technique implies that only static positions can be measured. Accuracy of retrieving bony landmarks is checked on-line using rigid body assumptions. The measurement error is calculated afterwards and is comparable with cinegraphic methods. Axial rotation of the clavicula is estimated by minimizing rotations in the acromioclavicular joint. A number of motion definitions is compared by means of interindividual variation and subjective interpretability. Two useful definitions are proposed for describing motions of the shoulder mechanism. Four conditions have been recorded: abduction and anteflexion of the humerus both with and without additional weight in the hand. Abduction and anteflexion result in large differences in scapular and clavicular motions. The effect of additional weight in the hand on the position of the shoulder girdle is negligible.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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