Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Harris,Gerald F.

Second Advisor

Grindel, Steven

Third Advisor

Cobb, Leah


Rotator cuff (RC) repair is a standard surgical intervention used to alleviate pain and loss of function in the shoulder due to torn RC tendons, involving re-attachment of the tendon to the humerus. Quantitative evaluation of kinematics following RC repair is possible with video motion analysis techniques, yet is rarely performed. With the purpose of quantifying the effects of RC repair, a Vicon 524 (Oxford, UK) motion analysis system was used to investigate three-dimensional (3D) kinematics of the glenohumeral (GH) joint and thorax following supraspinatus repair. A validated, 18 marker, inverse dynamics model based on ISB standards was applied to analyze GH joint kinematics in a population of persons who underwent recent RC repair and persons with ideal shoulder health. The kinematic data characterized GH joint motion during ADLs following single tendon repair of the supraspinatus. Motion capture was performed on ten (10) healthy subjects and ten (10) subjects at 9 to 12 weeks post arthroscopic RC tendon repair (supraspinatus). The tasks included ten ADLs characteristic of motions normally performed at home and work and three rehabilitation motions performed both actively and passively. Kinematics of the GH joint and thorax, as well as temporal characteristics of the trials were analyzed between groups. Hotelling's T2 test and Welch's t-test were used to examine significant differences in tri-planar (3D) kinematics between the groups (α = 0.05). ADLs with significantly different kinematics suggest that specific combined motions (e.g. performing extension while adducting as done when reaching to perineum) may be limited after rotator cuff repairs (especially after repairs of the supraspinatus), while single-plane mobility is returned to a healthy range suitable for most ADLs. Significantly different thorax kinematics support the use of thorax motion to compensate for limited GH joint mobility, however even with compensatory motion RC repair subjects completed tasks with similar temporal quality as those without shoulder pathology.