A comparison of acromion marker cluster calibration methods for estimating scapular kinematics during upper extremity ergometry

R. Tyler Richardson, Kristen F. Nicholson, Elizabeth A. Rapp, Therese E. Johnston, James G. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Accurate measurement of joint kinematics is required to understand the musculoskeletal effects of a therapeutic intervention such as upper extremity (UE) ergometry. Traditional surface-based motion capture is effective for quantifying humerothoracic motion, but scapular kinematics are challenging to obtain. Methods for estimating scapular kinematics include the widely-reported acromion marker cluster (AMC) which utilizes a static calibration between the scapula and the AMC to estimate the orientation of the scapula during motion. Previous literature demonstrates that including additional calibration positions throughout the motion improves AMC accuracy for single plane motions; however this approach has not been assessed for the non-planar shoulder complex motion occurring during UE ergometry. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of single, dual, and multiple AMC calibration methods during UE ergometry. The orientations of the UE segments of 13 healthy subjects were recorded with motion capture. Scapular landmarks were palpated at eight evenly-spaced static positions around the 360° cycle. The single AMC method utilized one static calibration position to estimate scapular kinematics for the entire cycle, while the dual and multiple AMC methods used two and four static calibration positions, respectively. Scapulothoracic angles estimated by the three AMC methods were compared with scapulothoracic angles determined by palpation. The multiple AMC method produced the smallest RMS errors and was not significantly different from palpation about any axis. We recommend the multiple AMC method as a practical and accurate way to estimate scapular kinematics during UE ergometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1258
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 3 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of acromion marker cluster calibration methods for estimating scapular kinematics during upper extremity ergometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this