Improving anterior deltoid activity in a musculoskeletal shoulder model – an analysis of the torque-feasible space at the sternoclavicular joint
Modelling the shoulder's musculature is challenging given its mechanical and geometric complexity. The use of the ideal fibre model to represent a muscle's line of action cannot always faithfully represent the mechanical effect of each muscle, leading to considerable differences between model-estimated and in vivo measured muscle activity. While the musculo-tendon force coordination problem has been extensively analysed in terms of the cost function, only few works have investigated the existence and sensitivity of solutions to fibre topology. The goal of this paper is to present an analysis of the solution set using the concepts of torque-feasible space (TFS) and wrench-feasible space (WFS) from cable-driven robotics. A shoulder model is presented and a simple musculo-tendon force coordination problem is defined. The ideal fibre model for representing muscles is reviewed and the TFS and WFS are defined, leading to the necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of a solution. The shoulder model's TFS is analysed to explain the lack of anterior deltoid (DLTa) activity. Based on the analysis, a modification of the model's muscle fibre geometry is proposed. The performance with and without the modification is assessed by solving the musculo-tendon force coordination problem for quasi-static abduction in the scapular plane. After the proposed modification, the DLTa reaches 20% of activation.