An Analytical Approach to Determine the in Situ Forces in the Glenohumeral Ligaments

[+] Author and Article Information
R. E. Debski, E. K. Wong, S. L-Y. Woo, F. H. Fu, J. J. P. Warner

Musculoskeletal Research Center, Department of Orthopædic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

J Biomech Eng 121(3), 311-315 (Jun 01, 1999) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2798326 History: Received March 17, 1998; Revised January 27, 1999; Online October 30, 2007


The purpose of this study was to use an analytical approach to determine the forces in the glenohumeral ligaments during joint motion. Predictions from the analytical approach were validated by comparing them to experimental data. Using a geometric model, the lengths of the four glenohumeral ligaments were determined during anterior-posterior loading simulations and forward flexion-extension. The corresponding force in each structure was subsequently calculated based on length data via load-elongation curves obtained experimentally. During the anterior loading simulation at 0 deg of abduction, the superior glenohumeral ligament carried up to 71 N at the maximally translated position. At 90 deg of abduction, the anterior band of the inferior glenohumeral ligament had the highest force of 45 N during anterior loading. These results correlated well with those found in previous experimental studies. We believe that this validated analytical approach can be used to predict the forces in the glenohumeral ligaments during more complex joint motion as well as assist surgeons during shoulder repair procedures.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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