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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005 Oct;439:129-35.

Evaluation of methods that locate the center of the ankle for computer-assisted total knee arthroplasty.

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Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5450, USA.


Accurate alignment of the mechanical axis of the limb is important to the success of a total knee arthroplasty. Although computer-assisted navigation systems can align implants more accurately than traditional mechanical guides, the ideal technique to determine the distal end point of the mechanical axis, the center of the ankle, is unknown. In this study, we evaluated the accuracy, precision, objectivity, and speed of five anatomic methods and two kinematic methods for estimating the ankle center in 11 healthy subjects. Magnetic resonance images were used to characterize the shape of the ankle and establish the true ankle center. The most accurate and precise anatomic method was establishing the midpoint of the most medial and most lateral aspects of the malleoli (4.5 +/- 4.1 mm lateral error; 2.7 +/- 4.5 mm posterior error). A biaxial model of the ankle (2.0 +/- 6.4 mm medial error; 0.3 +/- 7.6 mm anterior error) was the most accurate kinematic method. Establishing the midpoint of the most medial and most lateral aspects of the malleoli was an accurate, precise, objective, and fast method for establishing the center of the ankle.

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