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Objective Assessment of Joint Stiffness: A Clinically Oriented Hardware and Software Device with an Application to the Shoulder Joint | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2165-7025

Journal of Novel Physiotherapies
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Research Article

Objective Assessment of Joint Stiffness: A Clinically Oriented Hardware and Software Device with an Application to the Shoulder Joint

Kevin McQuade*, Robert Price, Nelson Liu and Marcia A Ciol
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Corresponding Author : Kevin McQuade
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received July 16, 2012; Accepted August 27, 2012; Published August 30, 2012
Citation: McQuade K, Price K, Liu N, Ciol MA (2012) Objective Assessment of Joint Stiffness: A Clinically Oriented Hardware and Software Device with an Application to the Shoulder Joint. J Nov Physiother 2:122. doi: 10.4172/2165- 7025.1000122
Copyright: © 2012 McQuade K, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Examination of articular joints is largely based on subjective assessment of the “end-feel” of the joint in response to manually applied forces at different joint orientations. This technical report aims to describe the development of an objective method to examine joints in general, with specific application to the shoulder, and suitable for clinical use. We adapted existing hardware and developed laptop-based software to objectively record the force/displacement behavior of the glenohumeral joint during three common manual joint examination tests with the arm in six positions. An electromagnetic tracking system recorded three-dimensional positions of sensors attached to a clinician examiner and a patient. A hand-held force transducer recorded manually applied translational forces. The force and joint displacement were time-synchronized and the joint stiffness was calculated as a quantitative representation of the joint “end-feel.” A methodology and specific system checks were developed to enhance clinical testing reproducibility and precision. The device and testing protocol were tested on 31 subjects (15 with healthy shoulders, and 16 with a variety of shoulder impairments). Results describe the stiffness responses, and demonstrate the feasibility of using the device and methods in clinical settings.

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