Computational analysis of glenohumeral joint growth and morphology following a brachial plexus birth injury.


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States. Electronic address: [Email]


Children affected with brachial plexus birth injury (BPBI) undergo muscle paralysis. About 33% of affected children experience permanent osseous deformities of the glenohumeral joint. Recent evidence suggests that some cases experience restricted muscle longitudinal growth in addition to paralysis and reduced range of motion at the shoulder and elbow. It is unknown whether altered loading due to paralysis, muscle growth restriction and contracture, or static loading due to disuse is the primary driver of joint deformity after BPBI. This study uses a computational framework integrating finite element analysis and musculoskeletal modeling to examine the mechanical factors contributing to changes in bone growth and morphometry following BPBI. Simulations of 8 weeks of glenohumeral growth in a rat model of BPBI predicted that static loading of the joint is primarily responsible for joint deformation consistent with experimental measures of bone morphology, whereas dynamic loads resulted in normal bone growth. Under dynamic loading, glenoid version angle (GVA), glenoid inclination angle (GIA), and glenoid radius of curvature (GRC) (-1.3°, 38.2°, 2.5 mm respectively) were similar to the baseline values (-1.8°, -38°, 2.1 mm respectively). In the static case with unrestricted muscle growth, these measures increased in magnitude (5.2°, -48°, 3.5 mm respectively). More severe joint deformations were observed in GIA and GRC when muscle growth was restricted (GVA: 3.6°, GIA: -55°, GRC: 4.0 mm). Predicted morphology was consistent with literature reports of in vivo glenoid morphology following postganglionic BPBI. This growth model provides a framework for understanding the most influential mechanical factors driving glenohumeral deformity following BPBI.


Bone deformation,Brachial plexus birth injury,Contractures,Finite element analysis,Musculoskeletal modeling,

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