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Int J Sports Med. 2004 Feb;25(2):154-8.

Shoulder rotation characteristics in professional tennis players.

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Orthopaedic Department, Dreifaltigkeits-Krankenhaus, Cologne, Germany.


Aim of this study was to assess the glenohumeral joint internal and external rotational range of motion using an ultrasound based kinematic measurement device. Twenty-seven male professional tennis players were bilaterally measured for internal and external rotation at 90 degrees of shoulder abduction while avoiding scapulothoracic motion. The control group consisted of 20 asymptomatic volunteers not involved in overhead sports activities. The dominant arm (playing arm) had a significantly greater range of external rotation than the non-dominant arm, while their internal rotation showed a significant deficit as compared to the non-dominant arm. The dominant arm total rotational range of motion was also significantly reduced in comparison to the non-dominant arm and to the controls. No significant difference was found between the dominant and non-dominant extremity in the control group. For objective measurement of glenohumeral rotational range of motion ultrasound based real time motion analysis is a new application for the diagnostic testing of specific shoulder parameters in orthopedics and sports physical therapy. It is therefore concluded that the specific methodology aiming at isolated glenohumeral motion may have clinical application for the development of rehabilitation and preventative programs.

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