(Shoulder Positioning & Integration of Kinematic Experimentation)


The human shoulder is not well understood at this time, due to the complexity of the shoulder, with regard to the specific interactions of the humerus, clavicle, and scapula. In particular, it has been difficult to obtain reliable data on the movement of the scapula. Experiments haven’t been able to accurately track the moment arms of broad muscles through the entire range of the muscle. Shoulder injuries are very common and recurring, and a better understanding of the motion of the human shoulder, specifically with regard to overhand motions, could lead to fewer injuries or better surgical techniques.

The purpose of this project is the design and development of a fixture capable of moving the 3 bones of a cadaveric shoulder in a physiologic way. The shoulder can then be moved with realistic muscle loading applied and the resulting muscle/tendon strain can be measured. This fixture and the resulting experiments will allow further understanding of normal shoulder function and also allow the investigation of the causes and solutions to chronic shoulder instability.