The accuracy and precision of radiostereometric analysis in monitoring tibial plateau fractures

Lucian B. Solomon, Aaron W. Stevenson, Stuart A. Callary, Thomas R. Sullivan, Donald W. Howie, Mellick J. Chehade

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose The application of radiostereometric analysis (RSA) to monitor stability of tibial plateau fractures during healing is both limited and yet to be validated. We therefore evaluated the accuracy and precision of RSA in a tibial plateau fracture model. Methods Combinations of 3, 6, and 9 markers in a lateral condyle fracture were evaluated with reference to 6 proximal tibial arrangements. Translation and rotation accuracy was assessed with displacement-controlled stages, while precision was assessed with dynamic double examinations. A comparison of error according to marker number and arrangement was completed with 2-way ANOVA models. Results The results were improved using more tantalum markers in each segment. In the fracture fragment, marker scatter in all axes was achieved by a circumferential arrangement (medial, anterior, and lateral) of the tantalum markers above the fixation devices. Markers placed on either side of the tibial tuberosity and in the medial aspect of the fracture split represented the proximal tibial reference segment best. Using 6 markers with this distribution in each segment, the translation accuracy (root mean square error) was less than 37 μm in all axes. The precision (95% confidence interval) was less than ± 16 μm in all axes in vitro. Rotation, tested around the x-axis, had an accuracy of less than 0.123° and a precision of ± 0.024°. Interpretation RSA is highly accurate and precise in the assessment of lateral tibial plateau fracture fragment movement. The validation of our center's RSA system provides evidence to support future clinical RSA fracture studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalActa Orthopaedica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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