Geometry parameters for musculoskeletal modelling of the shoulder system

F. C.T. Van der Helm*, H. E.J. Veeger, G. M. Pronk, L. H.V. Van der Woude, R. H. Rozendal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A dynamical finite-element model of the shoulder mechanism consisting of thorax, clavicula, scapula and humerus is outlined. The parameters needed for the model are obtained in a cadaver experiment consisting of both shoulders of seven cadavers. In this paper, in particular, the derivation of geometry parameters from the measurement data is described. The results for one cadaver are presented as a typical example. Morphological structures are modelled as geometrical forms. Parameters describing this form are estimated from 3-D position coordinates of a large number of datapoints on the morphological structure, using a least-squares criterion. Muscle and ligament attachments are represented as a plane or as a (curved) line. Muscle paths are determined by a geometrical form of the bony contour around which the muscle is wrapped. Muscle architecture is determined by the distribution of muscle bundles over the attachment area, mapping the distribution of the origin to the insertion. Joint rotation centers are derived from articular surfaces. Hence, muscle moment arms can be calculated. The result of this study is a set of parameters for each cadaver, describing very precisely the geometry of the shoulder mechanism. This set allows positioning of muscle force vectors a posteriori, and recalculation of position coordinates and moment arms for any position of the shoulder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-144
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992


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