Quantitative in vivo analysis of the kinematics of carpal bones from three-dimensional CT images using a deformable surface model and a three-dimensional matching technique



The purpose of this study was to obtain quantitative information of the relative displacements and rotations of the carpal bones during movement of the wrist. Axial helical CT scans were made of the wrists of 11 volunteers. The wrists were imaged in the neutral position with a conventional CT technique, and in 15–20 other postures (flexion–extension, radial–ulnar deviation) with a low-dose technique. A segmentation of the carpal bones was obtained by applying a deformable surface model to the regular-dose scan. Next, each carpal bone, the radius, and ulna in this scan was registered with the corresponding bone in each low-dose scan using a three-dimensional matching technique. A detailed definition of the surfaces of the carpal bones was obtained from the regular-dose scans. The low-dose scans provided sufficient information to obtain an accurate match of each carpal bone with its counterpart in the regular-dose scan. Accurate estimates of the relative positions and orientations of the carpal bones during flexion and deviation were obtained. This quantification will be especially useful when monitoring changes in kinematics before and after operative interventions, like mini-arthrodeses. This technique can also be applied in the quantification of the movement of other bones in the body (e.g., ankle and cortical spine).