The long head of the biceps tendon undergoes multiaxial deformation during shoulder motion

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Journal of biomechanics


The long head biceps tendon (LHBT) is presumed a common source of shoulder joint pain and injury. Despite common LHBT pathologies, diagnosis and preferred treatment remain frequently debated. This Short Communication reports the development of a subject-specific finite element model of the shoulder joint based on one subject's 3D reconstructed anatomy and 3D in vivo kinematics recorded from bone-fixed electromagnetic sensors. The primary purpose of this study was to use the developed finite element model to investigate the LHBT mechanical environment during a typical shoulder motion of arm raising. Furthermore, this study aimed to assess the viability of material models derived from uniaxial tensile tests for accurate simulation of in vivo motion. The findings of our simulations indicate that the LHBT undergoes complex multidimensional deformations. As such, uniaxial material properties reported in the existing body of literature are not sufficient to simulate accurately the in vivo mechanical behavior of the LHBT. Further experimental tests on cadaveric specimens, such as biaxial tension and combinations of tension and torsion, are needed to describe fully the mechanical behavior of the LHBT and investigate its mechanisms of injury.

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Humans; Shoulder; Tendons; Shoulder Joint; Muscle, Skeletal; Arm

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