International Orthopaedics

, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 1503–1509 | Cite as

In vivo three-dimensional motion analysis of the shoulder joint during internal and external rotation

  • Hayato Koishi
  • Akira Goto
  • Makoto Tanaka
  • Yasushi Omori
  • Kazuma Futai
  • Hideki Yoshikawa
  • Kazuomi Sugamoto
Original Paper



The purpose of this study was to assess accurately the three-dimensional movements of the scapula and humerus relative to the thorax during internal/external rotation motion with abduction of the shoulder joint.


Ten right shoulders of ten healthy volunteers were examined using a wide-gantry open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. MRI was performed every 30° from 90° external rotation to 90° internal rotation of the shoulder joint.


The contribution ratio of the scapulothoracic joint was 12.5% about the long axis of the humerus during internal/external rotation motion. With arm position changes from 90° external rotation to 60° internal rotation, most movement was performed by the glenohumeral joint. Conversely, at internal rotation of ≥60°, the scapula began to markedly tilt in the anterior direction. At 90° internal rotation, the scapula was significantly tilted anteriorly (p < 0.05) when compared with the other positions.


We clarified the existence of a specific scapulohumeral motion pattern, whereby the glenohumeral joint moves with internal rotation and the scapulothoracic joint moves with anterior tilt together with internal rotation motion of the shoulder joint.


Internal Rotation External Rotation Neutral Position Shoulder Joint Contribution Ratio 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We wish to thank Mr. Y. Sakaguchi, a radiological technologist, for performing MRI at Matsumoto medical clinic and Mr. R. Nakao, a programmer, for developing the software.

Supplementary material


(MPEG 2373 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hayato Koishi
    • 1
  • Akira Goto
    • 2
  • Makoto Tanaka
    • 3
  • Yasushi Omori
    • 1
  • Kazuma Futai
    • 2
  • Hideki Yoshikawa
    • 2
  • Kazuomi Sugamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Biomaterial ScienceOsaka University Graduate School of MedicineSuita CityJapan
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryOsaka University Graduate School of MedicineSuita CityJapan
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryOsaka Police HospitalOsaka CityJapan

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