Development of an image-based technique to examine joint congruency at the elbow
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Identifying joint contact in articular joints is important for both the biomechanical investigation of joint mechanics and the study of osteoarthritis. The purpose of this study is to develop a proximity mapping technique to non-invasively determine joint congruency, as a surrogate of joint contact. To illustrate the capabilities of this algorithm, a cadaveric upper extremity was positioned at varying degrees of elbow flexion. This technique was validated using a gold standard experimental casting technique. The pattern of the cast showed an excellent agreement with the generated proximity map using the inter-bone distance algorithm. The results from this study agree with the results of previous studies examining joint contact at the elbow both in the location and in the tracking of the joint contact throughout elbow flexion. Ultimately, this technique will lead to an increased understanding of the effect of malalignment and instability of the joint on contact mechanics.
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