The effect of anatomic landmark selection of the distal humerus on registration accuracy in computer-assisted elbow surgery Academic Article uri icon

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  • Incorrect selection of the flexion-extension axis of the elbow may be an important cause of failure following total elbow arthroplasty. Axis selection can be improved by locating it on a pre-operative image and registering the image to the subject intra-operatively. However, registration is dependent on the availability of anatomic landmarks that may be distorted or absent because of tumors, arthritis, dislocations, or fractures. This study determined the anatomic landmarks required to register surface data accurately to a pre-operative image of the distal humerus. Registration error for landmarks unlikely to be compromised by severe bone loss was 1.1 +/- 0.2 mm in translation and 0.4 +/- 0.1 degrees in rotation. These results suggest that a close alignment of a pre-operative image with intra-operative surface data can be achieved using only a relatively small portion of the distal humerus that is readily available to the surgeon, and unlikely to be compromised, even in the setting of significant articular bone loss.


  • McDonald, Colin
  • Beaton, Brendon JB
  • King, Graham JW
  • Peters, Terry M
  • Johnson, James A

publication date

  • September 2008