This paper presents a method to calculate functional joint space during dynamic movement. This method combines high-speed biplane radiographic image data and three-dimensional (3D) bone surface data obtained from computed tomography (CT). Subjects were patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructive surgery. Three tantalum beads were implanted bilaterally into both the femur and tibia during surgery. CT scans were performed after bead implantation, and the CT slices were reconstructed into 3D solid figures, with the implanted beads identifiable within the stack of CT slices. Subjects were tested 6,12 and 24 months post surgery. Testing activities included downhill running on a treadmill and one-legged hopping onto a force plate. During testing, the stereo-radiographic imaging system collected images at 250 frames per second. Later, the implanted beads were identified in the x-ray images and tracked in 3D with an accuracy of 0.10 mm. The 3D bead location data were used to position the reconstructed solid bone figures in 3D space. In this way, the location of each bone surface was determined each instant. This method can be used to identify the regions of close contact between bones during dynamic motion, to calculate the surface area of subchondral bone within close contact, and to determine the changing position of the close contact area during dynamic activities. Using these techniques, comparisons can be made between subchondral bone motion in healthy and reconstructed joints and changes in dynamic joint space can be measured over time.

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