Restoring the pre-morbid anatomy of the proximal humerus is a goal of anatomical shoulder arthroplasty, but reliance is placed on the surgeon's experience and on anatomical estimations. The purpose of this study was to present a novel method, ‘Statistical Shape Modelling', which accurately predicts the pre-morbid proximal humeral anatomy and calculates the 3D geometric parameters needed to restore normal anatomy in patients with severe degenerative osteoarthritis or a fracture of the proximal humerus.Materials and Methods
From a database of 57 humeral CT scans 3D humeral reconstructions were manually created. The reconstructions were used to construct a statistical shape model (SSM), which was then tested on a second set of 52 scans. For each humerus in the second set, 3D reconstructions of four diaphyseal segments of varying lengths were created. These reconstructions were chosen to mimic severe osteoarthritis, a fracture of the surgical neck of the humerus and a proximal humeral fracture with diaphyseal extension. The SSM was then applied to the diaphyseal segments to see how well it predicted proximal morphology, using the actual proximal humeral morphology for comparison.Results
With the metaphysis included, mimicking osteoarthritis, the errors of prediction for retroversion, inclination, height, radius of curvature and posterior and medial offset of the head of the humerus were 2.9° (± 2.3°), 4.0° (± 3.3°), 1.0 mm (± 0.8 mm), 0.8 mm (± 0.6 mm), 0.7 mm (± 0.5 mm) and 1.0 mm (± 0.7 mm), respectively. With the metaphysis excluded, mimicking a fracture of the surgical neck, the errors of prediction for retroversion, inclination, height, radius of curvature and posterior and medial offset of the head of the humerus were 3.8° (± 2.9°), 3.9° (± 3.4°), 2.4 mm (± 1.9 mm), 1.3 mm (± 0.9 mm), 0.8 mm (± 0.5 mm) and 0.9 mm (± 0.6 mm), respectively.Conclusion
This study reports a novel, computerised method that accurately predicts the pre-morbid proximal humeral anatomy even in challenging situations. This information can be used in the surgical planning and operative reconstruction of patients with severe degenerative osteoarthritis or with a fracture of the proximal humerus.