Kinematic analysis of reaching movements of the upper limb after total or reverse shoulder arthroplasty

Roberto Postacchini, Marco Paoloni, Stefano Carbone, Massimo Fini, Valter Santilli, Franco Postacchini, Massimiliano Mangone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies have analyzed three-dimensional complex motion of the shoulder in healthy subjects or patients undergoing total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) or reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA). No study to date has assessed the reaching movements in patients with TSA or RSA. Twelve patients with TSA (Group A) and 12 with RSA (Group B) underwent kinematic analysis of reaching movements directed at four targets. The results were compared to those of 12 healthy subjects (Group C). The assessed parameters were hand-to-target distance, target-approaching velocity, humeral-elevation angular velocity, normalized jerk (indicating motion fluidity), elbow extension and humeral elevation angles. Mean Constant score increased by 38 points in Group A and 47 in Group B after surgery. In three of the tasks, there were no significant differences between healthy subjects and patients in the study groups. Mean target-approaching velocity and humeral-elevation angular velocity were significantly greater in the control group than in study groups and, overall, greater in Group A than Group B. Movement fluidity was significantly greater in the controls, with patients in Group B showing greater fluidity than those in Group A. Reaching movements in the study groups were comparable, in three of the tasks, to those in the control group. However, the latter performed significantly better with regard to target-approaching velocity, humeral-elevation angular velocity and movement fluidity, which are the most representative characteristics of reaching motion. These differences, that may be related to deterioration of shoulder proprioception after prosthetic implant, might possibly be decreased with appropriate rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7265
Pages (from-to)3192-3198
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Sept 18 2015


  • Kinematic analysis
  • Reaching movements
  • Reverse shoulder prosthesis
  • Shoulder biomechanics
  • Total shoulder prosthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Kinematic analysis of reaching movements of the upper limb after total or reverse shoulder arthroplasty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this