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J Biomech. 1994 May;27(5):527-50.

Analysis of the kinematic and dynamic behavior of the shoulder mechanism.

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  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.


A finite element musculoskeletal model of the shoulder mechanism consisting of the thorax, clavicula, scapula and humerus has been used for analysis of the kinematic and dynamic behavior. The model includes 16 muscles, three joints, three extracapsular ligaments and the motion constraints of the scapulothoracic gliding plane which turns the shoulder girdle into a closed-chain mechanism. Simulations are inverse dynamic. Input variables are the positions of the shoulder girdle and humerus which have been recorded in 10 subjects during unloaded and loaded humeral abduction and anteflexion. Comparisons of muscle force predictions and EMG recordings are hampered by the unknown force-length relationship and the length dependency of EMG amplitude. It is concluded that EMG amplitude cannot be used for validation of complex musculoskeletal models. Muscle function is analyzed with help of a force and moment balance of the three joints. The moment balance includes the contributions of ligaments and the reaction forces at the scapulothoracic gliding plane. The scapulothoracic gliding plane is very important for the motions and the stabilization of the shoulder girdle. The direction and magnitude of joint reaction forces are calculated as well. It is concluded that the model provides good insight into the mechanics of the shoulder mechanism and that it enables an analysis of the function of morphological structures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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