Comparison of glenohumeral joint kinematics between manual wheelchair tasks and implications on the subacromial space: A biplane fluoroscopy study

Joseph D. Mozingo, Mohsen Akbari-Shandiz, Meegan G. Van Straaten, Naveen S. Murthy, Beth A. Schueler, David R. Holmes, Cynthia H. McCollough, Kristin D. Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Scapula and humerus motion associated with common manual wheelchair tasks is hypothesized to reduce the subacromial space. However, previous work relied on either marker-based motion capture for kinematic measures, which is prone to skin-motion artifact; or ultrasound imaging for arthrokinematic measures, which are 2D and acquired in statically-held positions. The aim of this study was to use a fluoroscopy-based approach to accurately quantify glenohumeral kinematics during manual wheelchair use, and compare tasks for a subset of parameters theorized to be associated with mechanical impingement. Biplane images of the dominant shoulder were acquired during scapular plane elevation, propulsion, sideways lean, and weight-relief raise in ten manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. A computed tomography scan of the shoulder was obtained, and model-based tracking was used to quantify six-degree-of-freedom glenohumeral kinematics. Axial rotation and superior/inferior and anterior/posterior humeral head positions were characterized for full activity cycles and compared between tasks. The change in the subacromial space was also determined for the period of each task defined by maximal change in the aforementioned parameters. Propulsion, sideways lean, and weight-relief raise, but not scapular plane elevation, were marked by mean internal rotation (8.1°, 10.8°, 14.7°, −49.2° respectively). On average, the humeral head was most superiorly positioned during the weight-relief raise (1.6 ± 0.9 mm), but not significantly different from the sideways lean (0.8 ± 1.1 mm) (p = 0.191), and much of the task was characterized by inferior translation. Scaption was the only task without a defined period of superior translation on average. Pairwise comparisons revealed no significant differences between tasks for anterior/posterior position (task means range: 0.1–1.7 mm), but each task exhibited defined periods of anterior translation. There was not a consistent trend across tasks between internal rotation, superior translation, and anterior translation with reductions in the subacromial space. Further research is warranted to determine the likelihood of mechanical impingement during these tasks based on the measured task kinematics and reductions in the subacromial space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102350
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Fluoroscopy
  • Kinematics
  • Model-based tracking
  • Shoulder
  • Subacromial space
  • Wheelchair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


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