Space science techniques are being used to study new ways of treating shoulder injuries.

Dr. Louis Bigliani of New York's Columbia University Medical Center is creating computerized models of the shoulder's anatomy and functions from three-dimensional photographs of shoulder joints, a method originally developed to map the earth from space.The research, funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb, has shown new ways to manipulate ligaments, muscles and tendons for improved stability and flexibility through surgery or exercise, Bigliani says.

An estimated 180,000 shoulder injuries occur in the United States each year.