Motion capture systems using skin markers are widely used to evaluate scapular kinematics. However, soft-tissue artifact (STA) is a major limitation, and there is insufficient knowledge of the marker movements from the original locations. This study explores a scapular STA, including marker movements with shoulder elevation using upright computed tomography (CT). Ten healthy males (twenty shoulders in total) had markers attached to scapular bony landmarks and underwent upright CT in the reference and elevated positions. Marker movements were calculated and compared between markers. The bone-based and marker-based scapulothoracic rotation angles were also compared in both positions. The median marker movement distances were 30.4 mm for the acromial angle, 53.1 mm for the root of the scapular spine, and 70.0 mm for the inferior angle. Marker movements were significantly smaller on the superolateral aspect of the scapula, and superior movement was largest in the directional movement. Scapulothoracic rotation angles were significantly smaller in the marker-based rotation angles than in the bone-based rotation angles of the elevated position. We noted that the markers especially did not track the inferior movement of the scapular motion with shoulder elevation, resulting in an underestimation of the marker-based rotation angles.
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