Modeling the Growth Plates in the Pediatric Knee: Implications for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

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The authors develop 3-D models of the pediatric knee from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) image files, with the goal of minimizing injury to the pediatric growth plate during surgery. Computerized tomography (CT) scans have better resolution and contrast between bone and soft tissue than MRI scans; however, surgeons rely upon MRI scans to plan knee-joint surgeries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Surgeons can use the virtual models to plan and verify surgical procedures such as hole drilling and ligament attachments, and to determine volume removed from a growth plate due to different drill-hole placements with various drill sizes.