Building biomechanical models based on medical image data: An assessment of model accuracy

  • Wendy M. Murray
  • Allison S. Arnold
  • Silvia Salinas
  • Mahidhar M. Durbhakula
  • Thomas S. Buchanan
  • Scott L. Delp
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1496)


The goals of this work were to (i) establish a method for building subject-specific biomechanical models from medical image data, (ii) construct a subject-specific model of the elbow, and (iii) quantify the accuracy of soft tissue excursions estimated from the model. We developed a kinematic model of the elbow joint and its surrounding musculature from magnetic resonance images of a 6′4′’ male cadaver specimen in one limb position. Moment arms estimated from the model (i.e., the changes in muscle-tendon lengths with elbow flexion angle) were compared to moment arms measured experimentally from the same specimen. In five of the six muscles studied, the model explained 84%–94% of the variation in the experimental data. Model estimates of peak elbow flexion moment arm were within 13% of the experimental peaks. Our results suggest that subject-specific musculoskeletal models derived from medical image data have the potential to substantially improve estimates of soft tissue excursions in living subjects.


Root Mean Square Error Elbow Joint Elbow Flexion Trochlear Groove Male Specimen 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy M. Murray
    • 1
  • Allison S. Arnold
    • 2
  • Silvia Salinas
    • 2
  • Mahidhar M. Durbhakula
    • 2
  • Thomas S. Buchanan
    • 3
  • Scott L. Delp
    • 2
  1. 1.Biomedical Engineering DepartmentCase Western Reserve University & Rehabilitation Engineering Center, MetroHealth Medical CenterClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Physical Medicine & RehabilitationNorthwestern University & Sensory Motor Performance Program, Rehabilitation Institute of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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