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Graphical Simulation And Communication Of Knee Replacement Surgery Information

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Assessment and Evaluation of Graphics Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.658.1 - 14.658.10



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Paper Authors

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Patrick Connolly Purdue University

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Kimberly Batta Purdue University

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Alex Morgan Purdue University

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Eric Wack Purdue University

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Ben Wheeler Purdue University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Graphical Simulation and Communication of Knee Replacement Surgery Information Abstract

With an aging population, health issues are on the rise. It is projected that over half of the American population will develop arthritis in their knees, as well as other joints, during their lifetime. Many of these medical issues will result in the need for joint replacement surgery, but unfortunately there is no current visual method that adequately explains the operation to the potential patient. A research project was undertaken to develop a comprehensive website to provide thorough information on knee replacement surgery, and to display a 3D simulation of the procedure that the patient will undergo. A major focus of the effort was to communicate the information without the utilization of unnecessarily disturbing graphic images and details. The goal was to help patients understand what happens during knee replacement surgery and the benefits that come from having the operation, while alleviating their fears. Special emphasis was placed on 3D modeling accuracy and effective simulation presentation to allow for effective graphical communication. A survey methodology was used in the research to measure viewer perception of message effectiveness in both educating and alleviating concerns in potential patients. This paper will report on the techniques utilized to model the complex anatomical features of the knee joint and joint replacement mechanisms, the data translation and formatting strategies used to present 3D CAD information in both static and dynamic forms, and survey results and recommendations for future research.


More than half of all Americans will develop arthritis in their knees and other joints at some point in their lives.(1) A significant number of these medical problems will require joint replacement surgery, an option for which clear and easily accessible information is limited. Many individuals put off having the necessary joint replacement surgery until they are in extreme pain and discomfort, sometimes due to lack of understanding about the operation and its potential impact. In the current digital age, many people turn to the Internet as a source of information. It would be helpful, therefore, to have reliable and easy to find information available on the web regarding joint replacement surgery. What is currently accessible is not adequate from either a visualization or explanation perspective. This information often uses terms that are difficult for a non-medically trained person to understand. Furthermore, the visual information that is provided often comes from live surgeries and is too graphic and disturbing for many viewers.(2) Doctors currently use literature, diagrams, and physical models to explain the procedure to their patients which often leaves them feeling uninformed and in need of more information before pursuing the operation.

In order for potential patients to make informed decisions regarding joint replacement options, they need to be able to review material, do in depth research, and learn from other individuals who have been through the experience of joint replacement. They would also benefit from understanding what happens during the operation, expected challenges, potential complications, and anticipated results. A more simplified graphical representation or simulation of joint replacement surgery could potentially provide a more effective way to communicate and inform

Connolly, P., & Batta, K., & Morgan, A., & Wack, E., & Wheeler, B. (2009, June), Graphical Simulation And Communication Of Knee Replacement Surgery Information Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4670

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