Precision and accuracy of 3D lower extremity residua measurement systems

Paul K. Commean, Kirk E. Smith, Michael W. Vannier, Charles F. Hildebolt, Thomas K. Pilgram

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Accurate and reproducible geometric measurement of lower extremity residua is required for custom prosthetic socket design. We compared spiral x-ray computed tomography (SXCT) and 3D optical surface scanning (OSS) with caliper measurements and evaluated the precision and accuracy of each system. Spiral volumetric CT scanned surface and subsurface information was used to make external and internal measurements, and finite element models (FEMs). SXCT and OSS were used to measure lower limb residuum geometry of 13 below knee (BK) adult amputees. Six markers were placed on each subject's BK residuum and corresponding plaster casts and distance measurements were taken to determine precision and accuracy for each system. Solid models were created from spiral CT scan data sets with the prosthesis in situ under different loads using p-version finite element analysis (FEA). Tissue properties of the residuum were estimated iteratively and compared with values taken from the biomechanics literature. The OSS and SXCT measurements were precise within 1% in vivo and 0.5% on plaster casts, and accuracy was within 3.5% in vivo and 1% on plaster casts compared with caliper measures. 3D optical surface and SXCT imaging systems are feasible for capturing the comprehensive 3D surface geometry of BK residua, and provide distance measurements statistically equivalent to calipers. In addition, SXCT can readily distinguish internal soft tissue and bony structure of the residuum. FEM can be applied to determine tissue material properties interactively using inverse methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-510
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1996
EventMedical Imaging 1996 Image Processing - Newport Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 12 1996Feb 15 1996


  • Anthropometry
  • Lower Limb Prosthetics
  • Spiral/Helical Computed Tomography and Surface Digitization


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