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Preliminary evaluation of a robotic apparatus for the analysis of passive glenohumeral joint kinematics.

J Orthop Surg Res. 2013;8(1):24

Authors: Rosso C, Müller AM, Entezari V, Dow WA, McKenzie B, Stanton SK, Li D, Cereatti A, Ramappa AJ, Deangelis JP, Nazarian A, Della Croce U

BACKGROUND: The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the human body. This is due, in part, to the complex interplay between the glenohumeral (GH) joint and the scapulothoracic (ST) articulation. Currently, our ability to study shoulder kinematics is limited, because existing models isolate the GH joint and rely on manual manipulation to create motion, and have low reproducibility. Similarly, most established techniques track shoulder motion discontinuously with limited accuracy.
METHODS: To overcome these problems, we have designed a novel system in which the shoulder girdle is studied intact, incorporating both GH and ST motions. In this system, highly reproducible trajectories are created using a robotic actuator to control the intact shoulder girdle. High-speed cameras are employed to track retroreflective bone markers continuously.

RESULTS: We evaluated this automated system's capacity to reproducibly capture GH translation in intact and pathologic shoulder conditions. A pair of shoulders (left and right) were tested during forward elevation at baseline, with a winged scapula, and after creation of a full thickness supraspinatus tear.
DISCUSSION: The system detected differences in GH translations as small as 0.5 mm between different conditions. For each, three consecutive trials were performed and demonstrated high reproducibility and high precision.

PMID: 23883431 [PubMed - in process]