Aug 19, 2014

Webinar: Interpreting Upper-limb Dynamic Simulations in the Context of Clinical Variability

Learn about integrating clinical knowledge into simulations to study nerve transfer strategies and shoulder deformities following brachial plexus birth palsy


A recording of the event is available for download, and the model described in the webinar is available at

A tutorial showing how to replicate the simulations from the model paper and how to use the model with a variety of tools will be available shortly. We encourage you to sign up for the upexdyn-news mailing list (located under the Advanced -> Mailing Lists) to receive an announcement when the tutorial becomes available.

You can also learn more about these studies at Dr. Saul's lab webpage or by consulting the following publications:

"Benchmarking of dynamic simulation predictions in two software platforms using an upper limb musculoskeletal model" Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, July 2014.

"Computational sensitivity analysis to identify muscles that can mechanical contribute to shoulder deformity following brachial plexus birth palsy" Journal of Hand Surgery, 2014.

"Biomechanical contributions of posterior deltoid and teres minor in the context of axillary nerve injury: a computational study" Journal of Hand Surgery, 2013.

" Computer simulation of nerve transfer strategies for restoring shoulder function after adult C5 and C6 root avulsion injuries " Journal of Hand Surgery, 2011.


Title: Interpreting Upper-limb Dynamic Simulations in the Context of Clinical Variability
Speaker: Dr. Kate Saul, North Carolina State University
Time: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time


The event is free, but registration is required. To register for the event, click here


Clinical movement dysfunction and rehabilitation of the upper limb can pose a challenge to clinicians and researchers due to concomitant injuries or disabilities and multiple concurrent treatments. For example, injury to the brachial plexus may be accompanied by penetrating wounds or bone fracture, and multiple concurrent surgical approaches may be used for repair and to restore function. Musculoskeletal simulations can elucidate isolated effects of an injury or treatment and provide treatment guidelines for clinicians. However, computational results must be interpreted in the context of variability of human anatomy and clinical condition.

In this webinar, I will describe how we have incorporated clinical knowledge to interpret our upper limb musculoskeletal simulations for two case studies. Our first study evaluated the biomechanical consequences of nerve transfer strategies to restore function following adult brachial plexus injuries. This involved running a series of simulations with different post-surgical muscle activation capacities to capture the variability in post-surgical patient response. Our second study explored shoulder deformity following the special case of brachial plexus birth palsy, by representing two potential deformity mechanisms: muscle force imbalance at the shoulder and abnormal muscle growth. Simulation results were used to evaluate the sensitivity of joint forces and range of motion to these mechanisms, enabling us to identify appropriate muscle targets for treatment.

During this presentation, I will discuss the results of these two studies and highlight some of the key steps we took to achieve them, including:
  • Developing a new dynamic upper limb model in OpenSim
  • Incorporating clinical features and variability into models and simulation
  • Using CMC and joint force analysis to obtain clinically relevant outcome measures

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