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Determining rotational deformity in broken forearms

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 February 2009

Y. M. Stokes
Affiliation:
Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia; e-mail: ystokes@maths.adelaide.edu.au.
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Abstract

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To assess rotational deformity in a broken forearm, an orthopaedic surgeon needs to determine the amount of rotation of the radius from one or more two-dimensional x-rays of the fracture. This requires only simple first-year university mathematics — rotational transformations of ellipses plus a little differential calculus — which yields a general formula giving the rotation angle from information obtained from an x-ray. Preliminary comparisons with experimental results are excellent. This is a practical problem that may be useful to motivate the teaching of conic sections.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Australian Mathematical Society 2003

References

[1]Bateman, E., Orthopaedic Department, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. Private communication.Google Scholar
[2]Frazer, J. E., Anatomy of the human skeleton, 6th ed. (J. & A. Churchill Ltd, London, 1965).Google Scholar
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