A stochastic model of elbow flexion strength for subjects with and without long head biceps tear

Joseph E. Langenderfer, Richard E. Hughes, James E. Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The classical approach of musculoskeletal modeling is to predict muscle forces and joint torques with a deterministic model constructed from parameters of an average subject. However, this type of model does not perform well for outliers, and does not model the effects of parameter variability. In this study, a Monte-Carlo model was used to stochastically simulate the effects of variability in musculoskeletal parameters on elbow flexion strength in healthy normals, and in subjects with long head biceps (LHB) rupture. The goal was to determine if variability in elbow flexion strength could be quantifiably explained with variability in musculoskeletal parameters. Parameter distributions were constructed from data in the literature. Parameters were sampled from these distributions and used to predict muscle forces and joint torques. The median and distribution of measured joint torque was predicted with small errors (<5%). Muscle forces for both cases were predicted and compared. In order to predict measured torques for the case of LHB rupture, the median force and mean cross-sectional area in the remaining elbow flexor muscles is greater than in healthy normals. The probabilities that muscle forces for the Tear case exceed median muscle forces for the No-Tear case are 0.98, 0.99 and 0.79 for SH Biceps, brachialis and brachioradialis, respectively. Differences in variability of measured torques for the two cases are explained by differences in parameter variability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Brachioradialis
  • Elbow flexion strength
  • Monte-Carlo model
  • Stochastic musculoskeletal model


Dive into the research topics of 'A stochastic model of elbow flexion strength for subjects with and without long head biceps tear'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this