Measuring orthopedic implant wear on standard radiographs with a precision in the 10 μm-range

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The aim of this study has been to explore and verify whether the use of a previously designed Analysis-by-Synthesis algorithm is capable to precisely measuring implant wear. The abrasion of polyethylene particles is seen as the main reason for the loosening of prosthetic components in the hip. It lies in the sub-millimeter range, and precision is a crucial point in wear measurement. In the Analysis-by-Synthesis algorithm, the synthetic X-ray image of the implant is matched to its original X-ray projection. This intensity based approach and the use of X-ray images with their inherent high resolution allow principally precise measurements. Wear has been defined based on the estimated implant parameters and under minimization of the impact of the main sources of error. The latter was theoretically studied in a sensitivity analysis. The use of the algorithm was tested in vitro as well as in vivo. In experimental data, the accuracy and the impact of the pelvic position and orientation were studied. The precision was assessed using dual radiographs of 20 patients with total hip replacement. A standard deviation of 49 μm was found.

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