Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery used in the treatment of intra-articular knee pathology which may cause unintended damage to femoral cartilage. An ultrasound (US)-guided autonomous robotic platform for knee arthroscopy can be envisioned to minimise these risks and possibly to improve surgical outcomes. The first necessary tool for reliable guidance during robotic surgeries was an automatic segmentation algorithm to outline the regions at risk. In this work, we studied the feasibility of using a state-of-the-art deep neural network (UNet) to automatically segment femoral cartilage imaged with dynamic volumetric US (at the refresh rate of 1 Hz), under simulated surgical conditions. Six volunteers were scanned which resulted in the extraction of 18278 2-D US images from 35 dynamic 3-D US scans, and these were manually labelled. The UNet was evaluated using a five-fold cross-validation with an average of 15531 training and 3124 testing labelled images per fold. An intra-observer study was performed to assess intra-observer variability due to inherent US physical properties. To account for this variability, a novel metric concept named Dice coefficient with boundary uncertainty (DSCUB) was proposed and used to test the algorithm. The algorithm performed comparably to an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, with DSCUB of 0.87. The proposed UNet has the potential to localise femoral cartilage in robotic knee arthroscopy with clinical accuracy.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2020|