Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp 1137–1143 | Cite as

Glenohumeral motion: review of measurement techniques

  • A. M. Hill
  • A. M. J. Bull
  • R. J. Dallalana
  • A. L. Wallace
  • G. R. Johnson


Measurement of upper limb motion is problematic, not least because of the large range of path dependent description of motion of the joints, and the multiple non-cyclical unstandardised motion tasks measured. Furthermore, appreciation of shoulder motion specifically is obscured by overlying soft tissue. In order to satisfy the complexity of a clinically useful model of the movement of the joint, input data must be acquired from a set of pre-determined movements using a non-invasive technique with a high level of accuracy. Descriptive and predictive modeling of the glenohumeral joint requires input of high-fidelity data into a 6 degree of freedom representation, without which, the application of the tool is of limited clinical significance to the advancement of both operative and non-operative management of shoulder pathology. Electromagnetic, linkage and radiographic techniques have previously been used, however, an optimal solution is yet to be described.


Kinematics Shoulder Tracking Measurement 


  1. 1.
    An KN, Jacobsen MC, Berglund LJ, Chao EYS (1988) Application of a magnetic tracking device to kinesiologic studies. J Biomech 21:613–620PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Andriacchi TP, Toney MK (1995) In vivo measurement of six-degrees-of-freedom knee movement during functional testing. Trans Orthop Res Soc 20:698Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anglin C, Wyss UP (2000) Arm motion and load analysis of sit-to-stand, stand-to-sit, cane walking and lifting. Clin Biomech 15:441–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bagg SD, Forrest WJ (1988) A biomechanical analysis of scapular rotation during arm abduction in the scapular plane. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 67:238–245Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Barker TM, Nicol AC, Kelly IG, Paul JP (1996) Three-dimensional joint co-ordination strategies of the upper limb during functional activities. Proc Inst Mech Eng [H] 210:17–26Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Barnett ND, Duncan RDD, Johnson GR (1999) The measurement of three dimensional scapulohumeral kinematics—a study of reliability. Clin Biomech 14:287–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Beaulieu CF, Thabit GH, Gold GE, Bergman AG, Butts RK, Dillingham MF, Herfkens RJ (2001) Dynamic MR imaging and stress testing in glenohumeral instability: comparison with normal shoulders and clinical/surgical findings. J Magn Reson Imaging 13:748–756PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Borstad JD, Ludewig PM (2002) Comparison of scapula kinematics between elevation and lowering of the arm in the scapular plane. Clin Biomech 17:650–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bull AMJ, Amis AA (1998) Knee joint motion: description and measurement. Proc Inst Mech Eng [H] 212:357–372Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Codman EA (1934) The shoulder: rupture of the supraspinatus tendon and other lesions in or about the subacromial bursa. Boston, privately printedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    de Groot JH (1998) The shoulder: a kinematic and dynamic analysis of motion and loading. PhD thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    de Groot JH (1997) The variability of shoulder motions recorded by means of palpation. Clin Biomech 12:461–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    de Groot JH, Valstar ER, Arwert HJ (1998) Velocity effects on the scapulo-humeral rhythm. Clin Biomech 13:593–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    de Luca CJ, Forrest WJ (1973) Force analysis of individual muscles acting simultaneously on the shoulder during isometric abduction. J Biomech 6:385–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Doln’nikov YI (1965) Experimental research on the movements in the large joints of the arm. NASA Report N72-33108, Russian Central Scientific Research Institute of Prosthetics and Orthopaedic Appliances. Cited In: Anglin C, Wyss UP (2000) Review of arm motion analyses. Proc Inst Mech Eng [H] 214:541–555Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Dvir Z (1978) Biomechanics of the shoulder joint. PhD thesis, University of Strathclyde, GlasgowGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Engin AE, Chen S-M (1986a) Statistical data base for the biomechanical properties of the human shoulder complex—I: Kinematic of the shoulder complex. J Biomech Eng 108:215–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Engin AE, Chen S-M (1986b) Statistical data base for the biomechanical properties of the human shoulder complex—II: Passive resistive properties beyond the shoulder complex sinus. J Biomech Eng 108:222–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Engin AE, Peindl RD, Berme N, Kaleps I (1984) Kinematic and force data collection in biomechanics by means of sonic emitters—1: Kinematic data collection methodology. J Biomech Eng 106:204–211PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Engin AE, Tümer ST (1989) Three-dimensional kinematic modelling of the human shoulder complex—Part I: Physical model and determination of joint sinus cones. J Biomech Eng 111:107–112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Freedman L, Munro RR (1966) Abduction of the arm in the scapular plane: scapular glenohumeral movements. J Bone Joint Surg 48-A:1503–1510Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Graichen H, Englmeier K-H, Reiser M, Eckstein F (2001) An in vivo technique for determining 3D muscular moment arms in different joint positions and during muscular activation—application to the supraspinatus. Clin Biomech 16:389–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Graichen H, Stammberger T, Bonel H, Haubner M, Englmeier K-H, Reiser M, Eckstein F (2000a) Magnetic resonance based motion analysis of the shoulder during elevation. Clin Orthop Relat Res 370:154–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Graichen H, Stammberger T, Bonel H, Englmeier K-H, Reiser M, Eckstein F (2000b) Glenohumeral translation during active and passive elevation of the shoulder—a 3D open-MRI study. J Biomech 33:609–613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Grieve DW (1968) Gait patterns and the speed of walking. J Biomech Eng 3:1919–1922Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Harryman DT II, Sidles JA, Clark JM, McQuade KJ, Gibb TD, Matsen FA III (1990) Translation of the humeral head on the glenoid with passive glenohumeral motion. J Bone Joint Surg 72-A:1334–1343Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Harryman DT II, Sidles JA, Harris SL, Matsen FA III (1992) The role of the rotator interval capsule in passive motion and stability of the shoulder. J Bone Joint Surg 74-A:53–66Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hill AM, Bull AMJ, Urwin M, Aichroth P, Wallace AL (2003) Potential clinical application of electron beam computed tomography to dynamic imaging of the shoulder. British Elbow and Shoulder Society, WiganGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hill AM. Bull AMJ, Amadi H, Aichroth P, Wallace AL (2004) Quantitative dynamic electron beam computed tomography imaging of the shoulder rhythm in real-time. International Congress on Surgery of the Shoulder, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hodge DK, Beaulieu CF, Thabit GH, Gold GE, Bergman AG, Butts RK, Dillingham MF, Herfkens RJ (2001) Dynamic MR imaging and stress testing in glenohumeral instability: comparison with normal shoulders and clinical/surgical findings. J Magn Reson Imaging 13:748–756PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Högfors C, Peterson B, Sigholm G, Herberts P (1991) Biomechanical model of the human shoulder joint—II. the shoulder rhythm. J Biomech 24:699–709PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Inman VT, Saunders JB DeC M, Abbott LC (1944) Observations on the function of the shoulder joint. J Bone Joint Surg 26:1–30Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Johnson GR, Anderson JM (1990) Measurement of three-dimensional shoulder movement by an electromagnetic sensor. Clin Biomech 5:131–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Johnson GR, Stuart PR, Mitchell S (1993) A method for the measurement of three-dimensional scapular movement. Clin Biomech 8:269–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Johnston TB (1937) The movements of the shoulder joint. A plea for the use of the ‘Plane of the Scapula’ as the plane of reference for movements occurring at the humero-scapular joint. Br J Surg 25:252–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Karduna AR, Williams GR, Williams JL, Iannotti JP (1996) Kinematics of the glenohumeral joint: influences of muscle forces, ligamentous constraints, and articular geometry. J Orthop Res 14:986–993PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Karduna AR, Williams GR, Williams JL, Iannotti JP (1997) Glenohumeral joint translations before and after total shoulder arthroplasty. A study in cadavera J Bone Joint Surg 79-A:1166–1174Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Karduna AR, McClure PW, Michener LA (2000) Scapular kinematics: effects of altering the Euler angle sequence of rotations. J Biomech 33:1063–1068PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Katchburian MV, Bull AMJ, Shih Y-F, Heatley FW, Amis AA (2003) Measurement of patellar tracking: assessment and analysis of the literature. Clin Orthop Relat Res 412:241–259PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Kinzel GL, Gutkowski LJ (1983) Joint models, degrees of freedom, and anatomical motion measurement. J Biomech Eng 105:55–62PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Koepfler JW (1983) Moiré topography in medicine. J Biol Photogr 51:3PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Lake RB (1969) Evaluation and coordination of movement in orthotic/prosthetic systems. PhD thesis, Case Western Reserve University, Chicago. Cited In: Anglin C, Wyss UP (2000) Review of arm motion analyses. Proc Inst Mech Eng [H] 214:541–555Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Langrana NA (1982) Spatial kinematic analysis of the upper extremity using a biplanar videotaping method. J Biomech Eng 103:11–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Lu T-W, O’Connor JJ (1999) Bone position estimation from skin marker co-ordinates using global optimisation with joint constraints. J Biomech 32:129–134PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Macleod PC, Kettelkamp DB, Srinivasan V, Henderson OL (1975) Measurement of repetitive activities of the knee. J Biomech 8:269–373Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Mandalis DG, McGlone BS, Quigley RF, McInerney D, O’Brien M (1999) Digital fluoroscopic assessment of the scapulohumeral rhythm. Surg Radiol Anat 21:241–246Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    McClure PW, Michener LA, Sennett BJ, Karduna AR (2001) Direct 3-dimensional measurement of scapular kinematics during dynamic movements in vivo. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 10:269–277PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Meskers CG, Vermeulen HM, de Groot JH, Van der Helm FCT, Rozing PM (1998) 3D shoulder position measurement using a six-degree-of-freedom electromagnetic tracking device. Clin Biomech 13:280–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Pearl ML, Harris SL, Lippitt SB, Sidles JA, Harryman DT II, Matsen FA III (1992) A system for describing positions of the humerus relative to the thorax and its use in the presentation of several functionally important arm positions. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 1:113–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Peterson B, Palmerud G (1996) Measurement of upper extermity orientation by video stereometry system. Med Biol Eng Comput 34:149–154PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Poulin F, Amiot L-P (2002) Interference during the use of an electromagnetic tracking system under OR conditions. J Biomech 35:725–872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Poppen NK, Walker PS (1976) Normal and abnormal motion of the shoulder. J Bone Joint Surg 58-A:195–201Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Pronk GM (1991) The Shoulder girdle: analysed and modelled kinematically. Doctoral thesis, Delft University of Technology, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Rao SS, Bontrager EL, Gronley JK, Newsam CJ, Perry J (1996) Three-dimensional kinematics of wheelchair propulsion. IEEE Trans Rehabil Eng 4:152–160PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Rau G, Disselhorst-Klug C, Schmidt R (2000) Movement biomechanics goes upwards: from the leg to the arm. J Biomech 33:1207–1216PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Rhoad RC, Klimkiewicz JJ, Williams GR, Kesmodel SB, Udupa JK, Kneeland JB, Iannotti JP (1998) A new in vivo technique for three-dimensional shoulder kinematics analysis. Skeletal Radiol 27:92–97PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Romilly DP, Anglin C, Gosine RG, Hershler C, Raschke SU (1994) A functional task analysis and motion simulation for the development of a powered upper-limb orthosis. IEEE Trans Rehabil Eng 2:119–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Runciman RJ (1993) Biomechanical model of the shoulder joint. University of Stratclyde, GlasgowGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Safaee-Rad R, Shwedyk E, Quanbury AO (1990) Three-dimensional measurement system for functional arm motion study. Med Biol Eng Comput 28:569–573PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Saha AK (1950) Mechanism of shoulder movements and a plea for the recognition of “Zero Position” of glenohumeral joint. Indian J Surg 12:153–165PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Selvik G (1974) A roentgenstereophotogrammetric method for the study of the kinematics of the skeletal system. Thesis, University of Lund, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Shoup TE (1976) Optical measurement of the center of rotation for human joints. J Biomech 9:241–242PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Sibella F, Galli M, Motta F, Givellini M (2002) Biomechanical model and experimental protocol for upper limbs movement analysis. Gait Posture 16(Suppl 1):S94–S95Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Sprigings E, Marshall R, Elliott B, Jennings LA (1994) Three-Dimensional kinematic method for determining the effectiveness of arm segment rotations in producing racquet-head speed. J Biomech 27:245–254PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Stokdijk M, Nagels J, Rozing PM (2000) The glenohumeral rotation centre in vivo. J Biomech 33:1629–1636PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Sugamoto K, Harada T, Machida A, Inui H, Miyamoto T, Takeuchi E, Yoshikawa H, Ochi T (2002) Scapulohumeral rhythm: relationship between motion velocity and rhythm. Clin Orthop Relat Res 401:119–124PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Taylor CL, Blaschke AC (1951) A method for kinematic analysis of motions of the shoulder, arm, and hand complex. Ann NYAcad Sci 51:1251–1265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Talkhani IS, Kelly CP. (1997) Scapulothoracic rhythm in normal male volunteers. Biomed Sci Instrum 34:327–331PubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Tümer ST, Engin AE (1989) Three-dimensional kinematic modelling of the human shoulder complex—Part II: Mathematical modelling and solution via optimization. J Biomech Eng 111:113–121PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Turner-Stokes L, Reid K (1999) Three-dimensional motion analysis of upper limb movement in the bowing arm of string-playing musicians. Clin Biomech 14:426–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Van der Helm FCT, Pronk GM (1995) Three-dimensional recording and descriptions of motions of the shoulder mechanism. J Biomech Eng 117:27–38PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Van der Helm FCT, Veeger HEJ (1996) Quasi-static analysis of muscle forces in the shoulder mechanism during wheelchair propulsion. J Biomech 29:39–52PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Veeger HEJ, Van der Helm FCT, Rozendaal RH (1993) Orientation of the scapula in a simulated wheelchair push. Clin Biomech 8:81–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Veeger HEJ, Yu B, An KN, Rozendaal RH (1997) Parameters for modelling the upper extremity. J Biomech 30:647–652PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Von Eisenhart-Rothe RMO, Jäger A, Englmeier K-H, Vogl TJ, Graichen H (2002) Relevance of arm position and muscle activity on three-dimensional glenohumeral translation in patients with traumatic and atraumatic shoulder instability. Am J Sports Med 30:514–522Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Warner JJP, Micheli LJ, Arslanaian LE, Kennedy J, Kennedy R (1992) Scapulothoracic motion in normal shoulders and shoulders with glenohumeral instability and impingement syndrome: a study using Moiré topographic analysis. Clin Orthop Relat Res 285:191–199PubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Youdas JW, Carey JR, Garrett TR, Suman VJ (1994) Reliability of goniometric measurements of active arm elevation in the scapular plane obtained in a clinical setting. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 75:1137–1144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Hill
    • 1
  • A. M. J. Bull
    • 1
  • R. J. Dallalana
    • 2
  • A. L. Wallace
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. R. Johnson
    • 3
  1. 1.Shoulder Bioengineering Group, Department of BioengineeringImperial College London, Sir Leon Bagrit CentreLondonUK
  2. 2.Shoulder UnitHospital of St. John and St. ElizabethLondonUK
  3. 3.School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Centre for Rehabilitation and Engineering StudiesUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneNewcastleUK

Personalised recommendations