The inter-fragmentary gap size (IFGS) is a critical factor affecting the propensity of bone healing. In this paper, we present a study to analyze ultrasound strain elastographic numerical features in samples with distinct IFGS using both simulations and experiments. Six fractured rabbit hind leg samples in total were used in this study with controlled IFGS of 1 mm, 5 mm and 1 cm. For the simulation, computed tomography (CT) scans of all six samples were used to create solid models. Finite element analysis (FEA) and subsequent elastography simulations were performed on the 3D models to produce tensorial strain field data. Features of bony fragment separation were defined on different strain components and computed for strains segmented at varying thresholds to evaluate their performance in estimating the IFGS. A threshold for each strain component was then determined, based on which extra 3D features of interest were defined and extracted from the segmented strain data. Then, all 3D features were compared statistically among the three nominal groups. Additional simulations and experiments of axial shear strain elastography (ASSE) on the median coronal plane of the same samples were also performed. Our results indicate that coronal plane axial shear (CPAS) strain elastography produces a separation feature which is statistically correlated with the IFGS, and that our elastography simulation module is effective in predicting the CPAS elastographic strain behavior for different IFGS.
- bone imaging
- inter-fragmentary gap size
- orthopedic biomechanics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging