Development of a fluoroscopically guided robotic assistant for instrument placement in pelvic trauma surgery

Rohan C. Vijayan, Runze Han, Pengwei Wu, Niral M. Sheth, Michael D. Ketcha, Prasad Vagdargi, Sebastian Vogt, Gerhard Kleinszig, Greg M. Osgood, Jeffrey H. Siewerdsen, Ali Uneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: A method for fluoroscopic guidance of a robotic assistant is presented for instrument placement in pelvic trauma surgery. The solution uses fluoroscopic images acquired in standard clinical workflow and helps avoid repeat fluoroscopy commonly performed during implant guidance. Approach: Images acquired from a mobile C-arm are used to perform 3D-2D registration of both the patient (via patient CT) and the robot (via CAD model of a surgical instrument attached to its end effector, e.g; a drill guide), guiding the robot to target trajectories defined in the patient CT. The proposed approach avoids C-arm gantry motion, instead manipulating the robot to acquire disparate views of the instrument. Phantom and cadaver studies were performed to determine operating parameters and assess the accuracy of the proposed approach in aligning a standard drill guide instrument. Results: The proposed approach achieved average drill guide tip placement accuracy of 1.57 ± 0.47 mm and angular alignment of 0.35 ± 0.32 deg in phantom studies. The errors remained within 2 mm and 1 deg in cadaver experiments, comparable to the margins of errors provided by surgical trackers (but operating without the need for external tracking). Conclusions: By operating at a fixed fluoroscopic perspective and eliminating the need for encoded C-arm gantry movement, the proposed approach simplifies and expedites the registration of image-guided robotic assistants and can be used with simple, non-calibrated, non-encoded, and non-isocentric C-arm systems to accurately guide a robotic device in a manner that is compatible with the surgical workflow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035001
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • 3D-2D image registration
  • image-guided surgery
  • orthopaedic surgery
  • pelvic trauma
  • surgical robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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