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3D finite element models of shoulder muscles for computing lines of actions and moment arms.

Authors
  • Webb, Joshua D
  • Blemker, Silvia S
  • Delp, Scott L
Type
Published Article
Journal
Computer Methods in Biomechanics & Biomedical Engineering
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Volume
17
Issue
8
Pages
829–837
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/10255842.2012.719605
PMID: 22994141
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Accurate representation of musculoskeletal geometry is needed to characterise the function of shoulder muscles. Previous models of shoulder muscles have represented muscle geometry as a collection of line segments, making it difficult to account for the large attachment areas, muscle-muscle interactions and complex muscle fibre trajectories typical of shoulder muscles. To better represent shoulder muscle geometry, we developed 3D finite element models of the deltoid and rotator cuff muscles and used the models to examine muscle function. Muscle fibre paths within the muscles were approximated, and moment arms were calculated for two motions: thoracohumeral abduction and internal/external rotation. We found that muscle fibre moment arms varied substantially across each muscle. For example, supraspinatus is considered a weak external rotator, but the 3D model of supraspinatus showed that the anterior fibres provide substantial internal rotation while the posterior fibres act as external rotators. Including the effects of large attachment regions and 3D mechanical interactions of muscle fibres constrains muscle motion, generates more realistic muscle paths and allows deeper analysis of shoulder muscle function.

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