Kinematic and muscle activity characteristics of multidirectional shoulder joint instability during elevation

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2006 Jul;14(7):673-85. doi: 10.1007/s00167-005-0012-7. Epub 2005 Dec 14.


Alterations of shoulder motion have been suggested to be associated with shoulder disorders. The objective of this study was to perform a 3D motion analysis (kinematic and electromyographical) of skeletal elements and muscles of shoulder joint in patients with multidirectional instability. Fifteen patients with multidirectional instability and 15 normal controls were investigated during continuous elevation in the scapular plane. The spatial coordinates of 16 anatomical points of the shoulder to determine kinematical parameters were quantified by an ultrasound-based motion analyzer. The activities of 12 muscles were measured by surface electromyography. Kinematic characteristics of motion were identified by scapulothoracic, glenohumeral, and humeral elevation angles; range of angles; scapulothoracic and glenohumeral rhythm; scapulothoracis, glenohumeral, and scapuloglenoid ratios; and the relative displacement between the rotation centers of the humerus and the scapula. The electromyographical characteristics of motion were modeled by the on-off pattern of muscle activity. Significant alterations in kinematical parameters were observed between patients and asymptomatic volunteers. The anterior, posterior, and inferior dislocations of shoulders with multidirectional instability could be properly modeled by the relative displacement between the rotation centers of the scapula and humerus. The shorter activity by m. pectoralis maior and all three parts of m. deltoideus and longer activity by m. supraspinatus, m. biceps brachii, and m. infraspinatus assure the centralization of the glenuhumeral head of a shoulder with multidirectional instability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology*