Validation of a mathematical approach to estimate dynamic scapular orientation

Kristen F. Nicholson, R. Tyler Richardson, Elizabeth A. Rapp, R. Garry Quinton, Kert F. Anzilotti, James G. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to develop and validate a non-invasive approach to estimate scapular kinematics in individual patients. We hypothesized that individualized mathematical algorithms can be developed using motion capture data to accurately estimate dynamic scapula orientation based on measured humeral orientations and acromion process positions. The accuracy of the mathematical algorithms was evaluated against a gold standard of biplane fluoroscopy using a 2D to 3D fluoroscopy/model matching process. Individualized linear models were developed for nine healthy adult shoulders. These models were used to predict scapulothoracic kinematics, and the predicted kinematics were compared to kinematics obtained using biplane fluoroscopy to determine the accuracy of the algorithms. Results showed strong correlations between mathematically predicted kinematics and validation kinematics. Estimated kinematics were within 8° of validation kinematics. We concluded that individualized linear models show promise for providing accurate, non-invasive measurements of scapulothoracic kinematics in a clinical environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - Mar 21 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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