Statistical Shape Modeling Predicts Patellar Bone Geometry to Enable Stereo-radiographic Kinematic Tracking

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Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Statistical shape modeling, Patella, Stereo radiography, Fluoroscopy, Kinematics, Subject-specific geometry, Total knee replacement


Complications in the patellofemoral (PF) joint of patients with total knee replacements include patellar subluxation and dislocation, and remain a cause for revision. Kinematic measurements to assess these complications and evaluate implant designs require the accuracy of dynamic stereo-radiographic systems with 3D-2D registration techniques. While tibiofemoral kinematics are typically derived by tracking metallic implants, PF kinematic measurements are difficult as the patellar implant is radiotransparent and a representation of the resected patella bone requires either pre-surgical imaging and precise implant placement or post-surgical imaging. Statistical shape models (SSMs), used to characterize anatomic variation, provide an alternative means to obtain the representation of the resected patella for use in kinematic tracking. Using a virtual platform of a stereo-radiographic system, the objectives of this study were to evaluate the ability of an SSM to predict subject-specific 3D implanted patellar geometries from simulated 2D image profiles, and to formulate an effective data collection methodology for PF kinematics by considering accuracy for a variety of patient pose scenarios. An SSM of the patella was developed for 50 subjects and a leave-one-out approach compared SSM-predicted and actual geometries; average 3D errors were 0.45 ± 0.07 mm (mean ± standard deviation), which is comparable to the accuracy of traditional segmentation. Further, initial imaging of the patella in five unique stereo radiographic perspectives yielded the most accurate representation. The ability to predict the remaining patellar geometry of the implanted PF joint with radiographic images and SSM, instead of CT, can reduce radiation exposure and streamline in vivo kinematic evaluations.

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