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J Biomech. 1997 Jun;30(6):647-52.

Parameters for modeling the upper extremity.

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Institute of Fundamental and Clinical Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The purpose of this paper was to provide parameters for the development of a musculoskeletal model of the upper extremity. Five upper extremity specimens were obtained from four fresh cadavers. Anthropometric measures were obtained for each cadaver. Segment inertial parameters were estimated for each specimen from anthropometric measures of the cadaver from which the specimen was obtained. The three-dimensional kinematics of the humerus, ulna, and radius in different movements of the glenohumeral, humeroulnar and ulnoradial joints were measured for each specimen using of the 3Space tracking system (Isotrack, Polhemus). The instantaneous rotation center of the glenohumeral joint and the instantaneous rotation axes of elbow flexion and forearm pronation were determined for each specimen from the kinematic data. The specimens were dissected and the muscle origins and insertions and bony structures needed in upper extremity modeling were digitized using the 3Space system. The shapes of muscle origins and insertions were estimated. Muscle length, volume and pennation angle were measured for the estimation of physiological cross-sectional areas of each muscle. The results, which are given for one specimen, showed that the rotation center of the glenohumeral joint was very close to the geometric center of the joint with a mean distance of 4 mm. The mean angle between the flexion-extension and pro-supination axes of the elbow joint was 94 degrees. The minimum distance between these two axes was about 4 mm.

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