Analysis of Upper Body Biomechanics in Children With Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome During Activities of Daily Living

Daysia Reid, “Analysis of Upper Body Biomechanics in Children With Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome During Activities of Daily Living”
Mentor: Brooke Slavens, Biomedical Engineering
Poster #109

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) is a subtype of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder causing over-flexibility of the joints and characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain [1]. There is a lack of joint dynamic characterization in pediatrics with this disorder. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively characterize the upper extremity (UE) joint dynamics in children with hEDS during activities of daily living (ADL) and to compare to typically developing children. The subjects who participated were 19 children (age range 8-18) with a Beighton score, a system used to quantify joint laxity and hypermobility [1], equal to or greater than 5 out of 9 (hypermobility) and 19 typically developing children with a Beighton score below 5. Each subject performed ADL such as reaching across body, reaching to back pocket, combing hair, and drinking with passive reflective markers placed on anatomical landmarks around the joints of the upper extremities while a motion analysis system (15-Camera Vicon T-Series) captured their movements. A custom inverse dynamics model will be used to calculate the 3-dimensional UE joint kinematics [2]. We are using Vicon Nexus software for data labeling, processing, and gap filling for data analysis, which will help determine the kinematic characteristics of hEDS and improve diagnosis and treatment planning. The reflective markers are placed on the subjects’ trunk, shoulders, elbows, and wrists and labeled on the software to determine joint angles, which will help identify joint motions in children. The time frames where markers were not picked up by the cameras (gaps) must be filled for data analysis. Our aim is to contribute to defining a biomedical phenotype, or characterization of children with hEDS. We expect the long-term outcome of this project to help inform and guide healthcare professionals to develop an improved diagnosis, rehabilitation, and treatment plan for children with hEDS.