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Technical Briefs

Measuring Dynamic In-Vivo Elbow Kinematics: Description of Technique and Estimation of Accuracy

[+] Author and Article Information
Colin P. McDonald

Bone and Joint Center,
Henry Ford Hospital,
2799 West Grand Boulevard,
Detroit, MI 48202
e-mail: colin.p.mcdonald@gmail.com

Vasilios Moutzouros

Department of Orthopaedics,
Henry Ford Hospital,
2799 West Grand Boulevard,
Detroit, MI 48202

Michael J. Bey

Bone and Joint Center,
Henry Ford Hospital,
2799 West Grand Boulevard,
Detroit, MI 48202

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Bioengineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received March 28, 2012; final manuscript received October 11, 2012; accepted manuscript posted October 25, 2012; published online November 27, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Richard E. Debski.

J Biomech Eng 134(12), 124502 (Nov 27, 2012) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007951 History: Received March 28, 2012; Revised October 11, 2012; Accepted October 25, 2012

Background: The objectives of this study were to characterize the translational and rotational accuracy of a model-based tracking technique for quantifying elbow kinematics and to demonstrate its in vivo application. Method of Approach: The accuracy of a model-based tracking technique for quantifying elbow kinematics was determined in an in vitro experiment. Biplane X-ray images of a cadaveric elbow were acquired as it was manually moved through flexion-extension. The 3D position and orientation of each bone was determined using model-based tracking. For comparison, the position and orientation of each bone was also determined by tracking the position of implanted beads with dynamic radiostereometric analysis. Translations and rotations were calculated for both the ulnohumeral and radiohumeral joints, and compared between measurement techniques. To demonstrate the in vivo application of this technique, biplane X-ray images were acquired as a human subject extended their elbow from full flexion to full extension. Results: The in vitro validation demonstrated that the model-based tracking technique is capable of accurately measuring elbow motion, with reported errors averaging less than ±1.0 mm and ±1.0 deg. For the in vivo application, the carrying angle changed from an 8.3 ± 0.5 deg varus position in full flexion to an 8.4 ± 0.5 deg valgus position in full extension. Conclusions: Model-based tracking is an accurate technique for measuring in vivo, 3D, dynamic elbow motion. It is anticipated that this experimental approach will enhance our understanding of elbow motion under normal and pathologic conditions.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Anatomical coordinate systems were created for the humerus (a), radius (b), and ulna (c). For the humerus, anatomic landmarks included the capitellum [panel (a);1], trochlea [panel (b);2], and center of the medullary canal [panel (a);3]. For the radius, anatomic landmarks included the center of the radial head [panel (b);1], the radial styloid [panel (b);2], and the center of the medial distal radialulnar joint surface [panel (b);3]. For the ulna, anatomic landmarks included the center of the greater sigmoid notch [panel (c);1], the proximal tip of the olecranon [panel (c);2], and the distal ulnar styloid [panel (c);3].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The change in the average carrying angle with elbow flexion angle for the ulnohumeral joint is shown for one representative subject across three motion trials. A 0° flexion angle represents full extension. For the carrying angle, valgus angulation is positive, and varus angulation is negative.

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