A Computational/Experimental Platform for Investigating Three- Dimensional Puzzle Solving of Comminuted Articular Fractures

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2011-01-01
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Thomas, Thaddeus
Anderson, Donald
Willis, Andrew
Liu, Pengcheng
Marsh, J. Lawrence
Brown, Thomas
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Frank, Matthew
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Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
The Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering teaches the design, analysis, and improvement of the systems and processes in manufacturing, consulting, and service industries by application of the principles of engineering. The Department of General Engineering was formed in 1929. In 1956 its name changed to Department of Industrial Engineering. In 1989 its name changed to the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering.
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Reconstructing highly comminuted articular fractures poses a difficult surgical challenge, akin to solving a complicated three-dimensional (3D) puzzle. Pre-operative planning using CT is critically important, given the desirability of less invasive surgical approaches. The goal of this work is to advance 3D puzzle solving methods toward use as a pre-operative tool for reconstructing these complex fractures. Methodology for generating typical fragmentation/dispersal patterns was developed. Five identical replicas of human distal tibia anatomy, were machined from blocks of high-density polyetherurethane foam (bone fragmentation surrogate), and were fractured using an instrumented drop tower. Pre- and post-fracture geometries were obtained using laser scans and CT. A semi-automatic virtual reconstruction computer program aligned fragment native (nonfracture) surfaces to a pre-fracture template. The tibias were precisely reconstructed with alignment accuracies ranging from 0.03-0.4mm. This novel technology has potential to significantly enhance surgical techniques for reconstructing comminuted intra-articular fractures, as illustrated for a representative clinical case.

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This is a manuscript of an article from Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 14 (2011): 263, doi:10.1080/10255841003762042. Posted with permission.

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011
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