Upper extremity biomechanics of children with spinal cord injury during wheelchair mobility

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014:2014:4338-41. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2014.6944584.


While much work is being done evaluating the upper extremity joint dynamics of adult manual wheelchair propulsion, limited work has examined the pediatric population of manual wheelchair users. Our group used a custom pediatric biomechanical model to characterize the upper extremity joint dynamics of 12 children and adolescents with spinal cord injury (SCI) during wheelchair propulsion. Results show that loading appears to agree with that of adult manual wheelchair users, with the highest loading primarily seen at the glenohumeral joint. This is concerning due to the increased time of wheelchair use in the pediatric population and the impact of this loading during developmental years. This research may assist clinicians with improved mobility assessment methods, wheelchair prescription, training, and long-term care of children with orthopaedic disabilities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomechanical Phenomena*
  • Child
  • Disabled Persons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Shoulder Joint / physiology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Upper Extremity / physiopathology*
  • Wheelchairs*
  • Wrist Joint / physiology