4 years ago

The challenges of measuring in vivo knee collateral ligament strains using ultrasound

Ultrasound-based methods have shown promise in their ability to characterize non-uniform deformations in large energy-storing tendons such as the Achilles and patellar tendons, yet applications to other areas of the body have been largely unexplored. The noninvasive quantification of collateral ligament strain could provide an important clinical metric of knee frontal plane stability, which is relevant in ligament injury and for measuring outcomes following total knee arthroplasty. In this pilot cadaveric experiment, we investigated the possibility of measuring collateral ligament strain with our previously validated speckle-tracking approach, but encountered a number of challenges during both data acquisition and processing. Given the clinical interest in this type of tool, and the fact that this is a developing area of research, the goal of this article is to transparently describe this pilot study, both in terms of methods and results, while also identifying specific challenges to this work and areas for future study. Some challenges faced relate generally to speckle-tracking of soft tissues (e.g. the limitations of using a 2D imaging modality to characterize 3D motion), while others are specific to this application (e.g. the small size and complex anatomy of the collateral ligaments). This work illustrates a clear need for additional studies, particularly relating to the collection of ground-truth data and more thorough validation work. These steps will be critical prior to the translation of ultrasound-based measures of collateral ligament strains into the clinic.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0021929017303792

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