A New Shoulder Orthosis to Dynamically Support Glenohumeral Subluxation

Claudia J.W. Haarman*, Edsko E.G. Hekman, Martijn F.H. Haalboom, Herman van der Kooij, Johan S. Rietman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
519 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: In this paper we presented a novel shoulder subluxation support that aims to reduce the stress on the passive structures around the shoulder of patients with glenohumeral subluxation and glenohumeral-related shoulder pain. The device applies a force to the upper arm without impeding the functional range of motion of the arm. Our design contains a mechanism that statically balances the arm with two elastic bands. Methods: A technical evaluation study was conducted to assess the performance of the orthosis. Additionally, two patients evaluated the orthosis. Results: The results of the technical validation confirm the working of the balancing mechanism. The pilot study demonstrated that the shoulder support increased the feeling of stability of the shoulder joint and, to a lesser extent, decreased shoulder pain. Furthermore, both patients reported that the orthosis did not impede their range of motion. Conclusion: In this research we developed a shoulder orthosis based on two statically balanced springs that support the shoulder of patients with glenohumeral subluxation that have residual shoulder muscle force. Compared to existing shoulder supports, our design does not impede the range of motion of the arm, and continues to provide a stabilizing force to the shoulder, even if the arm is moved away from the neutral position. Tests with two participants showed promising results. Significance: The device presented in this work could have a significant impact on the shoulder function which may improve rehabilitation outcome and improve the quality of life of patients suffering from glenohumeral subluxation and shoulder pain.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9186326
Pages (from-to)1142-1153
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE transactions on biomedical engineering
Issue number4
Early online date3 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • assistive device
  • orthotics
  • passive mechanism
  • shoulder pain
  • shoulder subluxation
  • upper extremity exoskeleton


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