|Abstract: ||We introduce a new way to accurately segment the 3D femur from pelvic CT scans. The femur is a difficult target for segmentation due to its proximity to the acetabulum, irregular shape and the varying thickness of its hardened outer shell. Atypical bone morphologies, such as the ones present in hips suffering from Femoral Acetabular Impingements (FAIs) can also provide additional challenges to segmentation. We overcome these difficulties by (a) dividing the femur into the femur head and body regions (b) analysis of the femur-head and neighbouring acetabulum’s composition (c) segmentations with two levels of detail – rough and fine contours.
Segmentations of the CT volume are performed iteratively, on a slice-by-slice basis and contours are extracted using the morphological snake algorithm. Our methodology was designed to require little initialization from the user and to deftly handle the large variation in femur shapes, most notably from deformations attributed to cam-type FAIs. Our efforts are to provide physicians with a new tool that creates patient-specific and high-quality 3D femur models while requiring much less time and effort.
We tested our methodology on a database of 20 CT volumes acquired at the Ottawa General Hospital during a study into FAIs. We selected 6 CT scans from the database, for a total of 12 femurs, considering wide inter-patient variations. Of the 6 patients, 4 had unilateral cam-type FAIs, 1 had a bilateral cam-type FAI and the last was from a control group. The femurs segmented with our method achieved an average volume overlap error of 2.71 ± 0.44% and an average symmetric surface distance of 0.28 ± 0.04 mm compared against the same, manually segmented femurs. These results are better than all comparable literature and accurate enough to be used to in the creation of patient-specific 3D models.|