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J Biomech. 2008;41(7):1616-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.01.034. Epub 2008 Apr 3.

Validation of a non-invasive fluoroscopic imaging technique for the measurement of dynamic knee joint motion.

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Bioengineering Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


The accurate measurement of the in vivo knee joint kinematics in six degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) remains a challenge in biomedical engineering. We have adapted a dual fluoroscopic imaging system (DFIS) to investigate the various in vivo dynamic knee joint motions. This paper presents a thorough validation of the accuracy and repeatability of the DFIS system when used to measure 6DOF dynamic knee kinematics. First, the validation utilized standard geometric spheres made from different materials to demonstrate the capability of the DFIS technique to determine the object positions under changing speeds. The translational pose of the spheres could be recreated to less than 0.15+/-0.09 mm for velocities below 300 mm/s. Next, tantalum beads were inserted into the femur and tibia of two fresh frozen cadaver knees to compare the dynamic kinematics measured by matching knee models to the kinematics from the tantalum bead matching-a technique similar to Roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis (RSA). Each cadaveric knee was attached to the crosshead of a tensile testing machine and vertically translated at a rate of 16.66 mm/s while images were captured with the DFIS. Subsequently, the tibia was held fixed and the femur manually flexed from full extension to 90 degrees of flexion, as the DFIS acquired images. In vitro translation of the cadaver knee using the tensile testing machine deviated from predicted values by 0.08+/-0.14 mm for the matched knee models. The difference between matching the knee and tantalum bead models during the dynamic flexion-extension motion of the knee was 0.1+/-0.65 degrees /s in flexion speed; 0.24+/-0.16 mm in posterior femoral translation; and 0.16+/-0.61 degrees in internal-external tibial rotation. Finally, we applied the method to investigate the knee kinematics of a living subject during a step ascent and treadmill gait. High repeatability was demonstrated for the in vivo application. Thus, the DFIS provides an easy and powerful tool for accurately determining 6DOF positions of the knee when performing daily functional activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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