Summary

In musculoskeletal systems, simulation and visualization using digital imaging graphic models are vital for bio-

FIGURE 14 Soft X-ray of the proximal tibia in sagittal plane (PT: patellar tendon) (A). Trabecular orientation in the proximal tibia (PT: patellar tendon) (B). Representative trabecular orientation in the proximal tibia (C).

FIGURE 14 Soft X-ray of the proximal tibia in sagittal plane (PT: patellar tendon) (A). Trabecular orientation in the proximal tibia (PT: patellar tendon) (B). Representative trabecular orientation in the proximal tibia (C).

mechanical analyses and data presentation. The quantitative information derived from such analyses will be the basis for developing the next generation of implants, devices, surgical procedures, and rehabilitation regimens for patients with bone and joint diseases, deformities, and disabilities. The real-time graphical animation of these models is a powerful tool for education and basic scientific research involving objective assessment of connective tissue material and structural properties and the functional anatomy under normal and pathological conditions. For bone strength prediction, quantitative imaging techniques combined with mechanical property assessment will be required to improve its reliability and clinical acceptance as a practical diagnostic modality. The use of 3D sonography and stress wave detection may meet this critical demand. The validity of the image-based solid models and the biomechanical analysis results must be established through experimental verification. To facilitate clinical application, patient-specific models must be constructed using simplified imaging methods combined with nonlinear mapping and scaling techniques using the generic models as the reference. With these improvements, the image-based models and their analysis/ animation capabilities will be the foundation for developing the image-guided and the robot-assisted medical and surgical interventions of the future. Such technical advancements will also make telemedicine and telesurgery both reliable and practical.

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