Ultrasound imaging for robotic knee arthroplasty

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease affecting the articulating joints of the body and is particularly prevalent in the knee. The degradation of the joint can cause disabling symptoms in the sufferer, the current remedy to which is total or unicondylar knee arthroplasty. While traditional knee arthroplasty procedures are well established through decades of success, the method by which the unwanted bone is removed is outdated and inaccurate. In answer to this, robotically guided knee arthroplasty systems provide a higher level of accuracy when reshaping the bone, which is responsible for an improved clinical outcome. Many of these systems require a preoperative 3D model of the joint, with which the surgery can be planned and implemented. Currently, Computed Tomography is the chosen method to achieve this, providing the required level of accuracy consistently. However, this method is costly and applies potentially dangerous doses of ionising radiation to the patient. Ultrasound imaging has the potential to provide an alternative to this by offering comparable accuracies, while reducing cost and eliminating the risk of ionising radiation.Ultrasound imaging has become commonplace in biomedicine and in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT). Despite their common ancestry, the two fields of research have bifurcated, with recent developments finding little crossover. One of the recent research topics in NDT has been Synthetic Aperture (SA) imaging methods. Despite the possibility of improved imaging capabilities, these methods have found little uptake in biomedicine. This thesis, therefore, applies SA methods to the task of reconstructing the bony surfaces of the knee, in an effort to apply the advances within NDT to biomedical imaging. Employing an industrial robot to provide automated and accurate probe positioning, 3D reconstruction of complex bony surfaces was found to be possible at a fundamental level to the required sub-millimetre accuracy. However, it was found that only certain SA widths would allow for accurate surface reconstruction. Additionally, a number of inaccuracies were found to be caused by 3D effects with 1D arrays. Finally, the effects of soft tissue inclusion were investigated, with results suggesting that soft tissue would not seriously compromise the ability to accurately reconstruct surfaces.
Date of Award9 Sept 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsEPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

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