Automatic quantification of lumbar vertebral kinematics from dynamic fluoroscopic sequences

Jon Camp, Kristin Zhao, Etienne Morel, Dan White, Dixon Magnuson, Ralph Gay, Kai Nan An, Richard Robb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We hypothesize that the vertebra-to-vertebra patterns of spinal flexion and extension motion of persons with lower back pain will differ from those of persons who are pain-free. Thus, it is our goal to measure the motion of individual lumbar vertebrae noninvasively from dynamic fluoroscopic sequences. Two-dimensional normalized mutual information-based image registration was used to track frame-to-frame motion. Software was developed that required the operator to identify each vertebra on the first frame of the sequence using a four-point "caliper" placed at the posterior and anterior edges of the inferior and superior end plates of the target vertebrae. The program then resolved the individual motions of each vertebra independently throughout the entire sequence. To validate the technique, 6 cadaveric lumbar spine specimens were potted in polymethylmethacrylate and instrumented with optoelectric sensors. The specimens were then placed in a custom dynamic spine simulator and moved through flexion-extension cycles while kinematic data and fluoroscopic sequences were simultaneously acquired. We found strong correlation between the absolute flexionextension range of motion of each vertebra as recorded by the optoelectric system and as determined from the fluoroscopic sequence via registration. We conclude that this method is a viable way of noninvasively assessing twodimensional vertebral motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2009
Subtitle of host publicationComputer-Aided Diagnosis
StatePublished - Jun 15 2009
EventMedical Imaging 2009: Computer-Aided Diagnosis - Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 10 2009Feb 12 2009

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2009: Computer-Aided Diagnosis
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista, FL


  • Back pain
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Kinematics
  • Registration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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