Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Femoral neck anteversion is the torsion of the femoral head with reference to the distal femur. Conventional methods that use cross-sectional computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance or ultrasound images to estimate femoral anteversion have met with several problems owing to the complex, three-dimensional (3D) structure of the femur. These problems include not only the difficulty of defining the direction of the femoral neck axis and condylar line but also the dependency upon patient positioning. In particular, the femoral neck axis, the direction of the femoral head, known as the major source of error, is difficult to determine from either a single or several two-dimensional (2D) cross-sectional images. A new method has been devised for the measurement of femoral anteversion using the 3D imaging technique. 3D reconstructed CT images from the femoral head and trochanter to the distal femur are used to measure the anteversion. It is necessary to remove the soft tissue from the CT images and extract just the bone part. Then, the femoral anteversion is measured from a computer-rendered femur image. The 3D imaging method is compared with both the conventional 2D method and the physical method using 20 dried femurs. For the physical method, which is used as a reference value, a special apparatus is devised. The average difference between the results of the physical method and those of the 2D CT method is 5.33°. The average difference between the results of the physical method and those of the 3D imaging method is 0.45°. Seventy-four patients, who suffer from toe-in-gait disease, are tested to compare the 3D imaging method with the conventional 2D CT method. The average difference between the 2D and 3D methods is 8.6°, and the standard is 7.43°. This method provides a very accurate and reliable measurement of femoral anteversion, as it is virtually equivalent to the direct measurement of bisected dried femur in vitro.
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