Border-tracing algorithm implementation for the femoral geometry reconstruction

Debora Testi, Cinzia Zannoni, Angelo Cappello, Marco Viceconti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In some orthopaedic applications such as the design of custom-made hip prostheses, reconstruction of the bone morphology is a fundamental step. Different methods are available to extract the geometry of the femoral medullary canal from computed tomography (CT) images. In this research, an automatic procedure (border-tracing method) for the extraction of bone contours was implemented and validated. A composite replica of the human femur was scanned and the CT images processed using three different methods, a manual procedure; the border-tracing algorithm; and a threshold-based method. The resulting contours were used to estimate the accuracy of the implemented procedure. The two software techniques were more accurate than the manual procedure. Then, these two procedures were applied to an in vivo CT data set in order to determine to most critical region for repeatability. Only for the images located in this region, the repeatability measurement was carried out for six in vivo CT data sets to evaluate the inter-femur repeatability. The border-tracing method was found to achieve the highest repeatability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Border-tracing algorithm
  • Custom-made prosthesis
  • Geometry reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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