A new study has been published by a team of researchers, led by Dr. Tim Uhl, Professor and Director of Musculoskeletal Laboratory at the University of Kentucky. The study focused on the reliability of using EasyAngle as an assessment tool for measuring scapular mobility. Prior to this, measurements of the scapula had been somewhat limited in the clinical setting.
Measurements of upward rotation can be taken with an electronic inclinometer, however, reliable measurements in the transverse plane were only possible using bone-pin’s and radiograph/MRI or by 3D motion and video analysis. These systems are expensive and not commonly available in clinics. Dr. Uhl had been looking for a tool to easily measure the shoulder in all three planes in a normal clinical setting. He saw the EasyAngle being demonstrated at the Combined Sections meeting in 2018 and decided to take it back to the lab for some testing.
Oliver Silverson, one of the researchers in the team, set about validating EasyAngle against the 3D video analysis systems and confirmed that EasyAngle is effective, even when measuring the scapula in the transverse plane. This is thanks to the inertial measurement unit that removes the dependency on measuring against gravity. Abnormal positioning of the scapula can contribute to shoulder pathology and so being able to quantify this measurement enables Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers to identify mobility impairments in the clinical setting.