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Friday, March 2, 2001

Virtual reality goes inside the natural distal femur

Scientific exhibit 28 demonstrates in virtual reality the 3-D shape of the natural distal femur, illustrating the sulcus axis of the trochlear groove and flexion axis of the condyles relative to conventional axes (mechanical, anatomic, epicondylar and posterior condylar axes).

Eighty-five cadaveric knees were measured with a stereotactic micrometer. Six cadaveric knees were studied using a 6-degree-of-freedom motion analysis system. Forty patient and 20 control knees were evaluated with CT. Three cadaveric knees evaluated by CT were sectioned into 0.1-1.0 mm slices, digitized and reconstructed in virtual space. The morphologic and biomechanical characteristics of the knee defined in these studies were imaged for presentation in 3-D and virtual reality.

The study showed that the sulcus of the trochlear groove lies lateral to the mid-plane and is oriented between the mechanical and anatomic axes of the femur. The femoral condyles closely approximate cylinders of differing radii that are oriented around a single flexion axis.

This study is the first to illustrate these observations in 3-D with virtual reality, according to the researchers: Donald G. Eckhoff, MD; Thomas F. Dwyer, MD; Joel M. Bach, PhD; Victor M. Spitzer, PhD; and Karl Reinig, PhD, all of the University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver and Aurora, Colo.

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2001 Academy News March 2 Index B

Last modified 20/February/2001 by IS