Reconstruction and positional accuracy of 3D ultrasound on vertebral phantoms for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis spinal surgery

  • Andrew Chan
  • Eric Parent
  • Edmond LouEmail author
Original Article



Determine the positional, rotational and reconstruction accuracy of a 3D ultrasound system to be used for image registration in navigation surgery.


A custom 3D ultrasound for spinal surgery image registration was developed using Optitrack Prime 13-W motion capture cameras and a SonixTablet Ultrasound System. Temporal and spatial calibration was completed to account for time latencies between the two systems and to ensure accurate motion tracking of the ultrasound transducer. A mock operating room capture volume with a pegboard grid was set up to allow phantoms to be placed at a variety of predetermined positions to validate accuracy measurements. Five custom-designed ultrasound phantoms were 3D printed to allow for a range of linear and angular dimensions to be measured when placed on the pegboard.


Temporal and spatial calibration was completed with measurement repeatabilities of 0.2 mm and 0.5° after calibration. The mean positional accuracy was within 0.4 mm, with all values within 0.5 mm within the critical surgical regions and 96% of values within 1 mm within the full capture volume. All orientation values were within 1.5°. Reconstruction accuracy was within 0.6 mm and 0.9° for geometrically shaped phantoms and 0.5 and 1.9° for vertebrae-mimicking phantoms.


The accuracy of the developed 3D ultrasound system meets the 1 mm and 5° requirements of spinal surgery from this study. Further repeatability studies and evaluation on vertebrae are needed to validate the system for surgical use.


Image guidance 3D ultrasound Spinal surgery Scoliosis Navigation 





Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis



This research was funded by the Alberta Spine Foundation. The first author of this research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Alberta Innovates: Technology Futures.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

No individual patients were included in this study.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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