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J Biomech. 2012 Aug 31;45(13):2215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.06.004. Epub 2012 Jul 13.

Computed tomography analysis of knee pose and geometry before and after total knee arthroplasty.

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  • 1Biomedical Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.


Using a three-dimensional (3D) modality to image patients' knees before and after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) allows researchers and clinicians to evaluate causes of pain after TKA, differences in implant design, and changes in the articular geometry as a result of surgery. Computed tomography (CT) has not been fully utilized to date for evaluating the knee after TKA due to metal artifacts obscuring part of the image. We describe an accurate, validated protocol, which has been implemented in vivo, that improves visibility of the patellofemoral joint, matches implant models automatically in 3D, segments preoperative bone semi-automatically, detects and sets coordinate systems automatically, determines the six degrees of freedom of knee pose and geometry, and allows for multiple other measurements that are clinically relevant. Subjects are imaged at 0° and 30° knee flexion, while pushing on a custom-made knee rig to provide partial loadbearing. With some modifications, the protocol can be adopted by any group with access to a CT scanner and image analysis software, allowing for the investigation of numerous clinical and biomechanical questions.

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