Intraoperative three-dimensional imaging in orthopaedic trauma care has achieved greater importance over the last few years in some specialized hospital centers. For various types of peripheral-extremity trauma, clinical studies have confirmed, on the basis of three-dimensional information, an intraoperative revision rate ranging from 7% to 19%. Three-dimensional C-arm imaging may be used to achieve adequate intraoperative information about the quality of fracture reduction, residual steps, and correct implant placement, and this technique has been described for use in both the hip joint (for acetabular fractures, isolated femoral head [Pipkin-type] fractures, three-dimensional navigated sacroiliac screw or acetabular column screw placements, and, less frequently, for navigated drilling of tumors or osteochondral lesions) and the knee joint (for tibial plateau fractures, complex distal femoral condylar fractures, and navigated targeting of osteochondral lesions in combination with the use of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging scans). Major limitations of this technology include increased intraoperative time requirements, limited image quality compared with that of computed tomographic scans, cost, specific positioning techniques, and the need for radiolucent operating-room tables. Although prospective studies have yet to be conducted, the ways in which the surgeon will benefit from the use of intraoperative three-dimensional imaging are apparent, but indications for combined three-dimensional C-arm navigated procedures at the hip and knee joint are still limited. Future directions may include the use of digital flat-panel detectors and even robotic-controlled C-arm motion.
1Trauma Department, Hannover Medical School, Carl Neubergstrasse 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany. E-mail address for T. Hüfner: firstname.lastname@example.org