MSE Research Project Database

Biomechanics of the shoulder after reverse total shoulder arthroplasty

Project Leader: David Ackland
Staff: Marcus Pandy
Collaborators: Associate Professor Martin Richardson (Epworth Healthcare)
Primary Contact: David Ackland (
Keywords: arthritis; biomechanics; biomedical engineering; disease; joint replacement
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering
Domains: Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the human body, and its mechanisms of mobility and stability are frequently debated. Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty is a salvage procedure intended to improve joint mobility and stability in patients with glenohumeral arthritis associated with severe rotator cuff deficiency. At present, however, clinical outcomes are frequently variable, and the biomechanics of the reverse shoulder not well understood.

This project will involve using a musculoskeletal model to investigate the behaviour of the shoulder after implantation of a reverse shoulder prosthesis. This computational model will be validated by performing experiments on entire upper-extremity cadavers using an existing dynamic shoulder cadaver testing apparatus. In vitro experiments will be performed in a wet-tissue biomechanics laboratory located in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience.

An improved understanding of clinical shoulder biomechanics, shoulder disease and trauma, with application to improving surgical treatments, will be achieved. The data produced in this project will provide a critical contribution to the evidence required for advancing engineering and design of shoulder prostheses.