Accuracy of Navigated Surgery of the Pelvis after Surface Matching with an a-Mode Ultrasound Probe

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Computer-aided surgery (CAS) allows for real-time intraoperative feedback resulting in increased accuracy, while reducing intraoperative radiation. CAS is especially useful for the treatment of certain pelvic ring fractures, which necessitate the precise placement of screws. Flouroscopy-based CAS modules have been developed for many orthopedic applications. The integration of the isocentric flouroscope even enables navigation using intraoperatively acquired three-dimensional (3D) data, though the scan volume and imaging quality are limited. Complicated and comprehensive pathologies in regions like the pelvis can necessitate a CT-based navigation system because of its larger field of view. To be accurate, the patient's anatomy must be registered and matched with the virtual object (CT data). The actual precision within the region of interest depends on the area of the bone where surface matching is performed. Conventional surface matching with a solid pointer requires extensive soft tissue dissection. This contradicts the primary purpose of CAS as a minimally invasive alternative to conventional surgical techniques. We therefore integrated an a-mode ultrasound pointer into the process of surface matching for pelvic surgery and compared it to the conventional method. Accuracy measurements were made in two pelvic models: a foam model submerged in water and one with attached porcine muscle tissue. Three different tissue depths were selected based on CT scans of 30 human pelves. The ultrasound pointer allowed for registration of virtually any point on the pelvis. This method of surface matching could be successfully integrated into CAS of the pelvis.

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