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J Biomech. 2012 May 11;45(8):1540-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.03.004. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Markerless Roentgen Stereophotogrammetric Analysis for in vivo implant migration measurement using three dimensional surface models to represent bone.

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Laboratory for Biomechanics and Biomaterials, Department of Orthopaedics, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Recent studies have shown that model-based RSA using implant surface models to detect in vivo migration is as accurate as the classical marker-based RSA method. Use of bone surface models would be a further advancement of the model-based method by decreasing complications arising from marker insertion. The aim of this pilot investigation was to assess the feasibility of a "completely markerless" model-based RSA in detecting migration of an implant using bone surface models instead of bone markers. A total knee arthroplasty (TKA) was performed on a human cadaver knee, which was subsequently investigated by repeated RSA measurements performed by one observer. The cadaver knee was CT scanned prior to implantation of the TKA. Tibia-fibular surface models were created using two different commercially available software packages to investigate the effect of segmentation software on the accuracy of repeated migration measures of zero displacement by one observer. Reverse engineered surface models of the TKA tibial component were created. The analysis of the RSA images was repeated 10 times by one individual observer. For the markerless method, the greatest apparent migration observed about the three anatomical axes investigated was between -2.08 and 1.35 mm (SD ≤ 0.88) for z-axis translation, and -4.57° to 7.86° (SD ≤ 3.17) for R(y)-axis rotation, which were well beyond out of the range of what is typically considered adequate for clinically relevant RSA measurements. Use of tibia-fibular surface models of the bone instead of markers could provide practical advantages in evaluating implant migration. However, we found the accuracy and precision of the markerless approach to be lower than that of marker-based RSA, to a degree which precludes the use of this method for measuring implant migration in its present form.

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