Prescribing joint co-ordinates during model preparation to improve inverse kinematic estimates of elbow joint angles

D. J M Wells, J. A. Alderson, J. Dunne, B. C. Elliott, C. J. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


To appropriately use inverse kinematic (IK) modelling for the assessment of human motion, a musculoskeletal model must be prepared 1) to match participant segment lengths (scaling) and 2) to align the model׳s virtual markers positions with known, experimentally derived kinematic marker positions (marker registration). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether prescribing joint co-ordinates during the marker registration process (within the modelling framework OpenSim) will improve IK derived elbow kinematics during an overhead sporting task. To test this, the upper limb kinematics of eight cricket bowlers were recorded during two testing sessions, with a different tester each session. The bowling trials were IK modelled twice: once with an upper limb musculoskeletal model prepared with prescribed participant specific co-ordinates during marker registration – MRPC – and once with the same model prepared without prescribed co-ordinates – MR; and by an established direct kinematic (DK) upper limb model. Whilst both skeletal model preparations had strong inter-tester repeatability (MR: Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM1D)=0% different; MRPC: SPM1D=0% different), when compared with DK model elbow FE waveform estimates, IK estimates using the MRPC model (RMSD=5.2±2.0°, SPM1D=68% different) were in closer agreement than the estimates from the MR model (RMSD=44.5±18.5°, SPM1D=100% different). Results show that prescribing participant specific joint co-ordinates during the marker registration phase of model preparation increases the accuracy and repeatability of IK solutions when modelling overhead sporting tasks in OpenSim.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2017


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