Objectives: A mobile isocentric C-arm was modified in our laboratory in collaboration with Siemens Medical Solutions to include a large-area flat-panel detector providing multi-mode fluoroscopy and cone-beam CT (CBCT) imaging. This technology is an important advance over existing intraoperative imaging (e.g., Iso-C3D), offering superior image quality, increased field of view, higher spatial resolution, and soft-tissue visibility. The aim of this study was to assess the system's performance and image quality in tibial plateau (TP) fracture reconstruction. Methods: Three TP fractures were simulated in fresh-frozen cadaveric knees through combined axial loading and lateral impact. The fractures were reduced through a lateral approach and assessed by fluoroscopy. The reconstruction was then assessed using CBCT. If necessary, further reduction and localization of remaining displaced bone fragments was performed using CBCT images for guidance. CBCT image quality was assessed with respect to projection speed, dose and filtering technique. Results: CBCT imaging provided exquisite visualization of articular details, subtle fragment detection and localization, and confirmation of reduction and implant placement. After fluoroscopic images indicated successful initial reduction, CBCT imaging revealed areas of malalignment and displaced fragments. CBCT facilitated fragment localization and improved anatomic reduction. CBCT image noise increased gradually with reduced dose, but little difference in images resulted from increased projections. High-resolution reconstruction provided better delineation of plateau depressions. Conclusion: This study demonstrated a clear advantage of intraoperative CBCT over 2D fluoroscopy and Iso-C3D in TP fracture fixation. CBCT imaging provided benefits in fracture type diagnosis, localization of fracture fragments, and intraoperative 3D confirmation of anatomic reduction.
- Cone-beam CT
- Intraoperative 3D imaging
- Tibial plateau fracture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging