Measurement of the bony anatomy of the humerus using magnetic resonance imaging

Ann Hird Murdoch, K. J. Mathias, F. W. Smith

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    This study was undertaken during the development of a ne v humeral intramedullary nail. To determine the overall size of the nail it was necessary to have the dimensions of the humerus and intramedullary canal. The dimensions of the bony anatomy of the humerus were obtained using an open magnetic resonance imager. The right arm of 20 volunteers was scanned and the length and the dimensions of both the intramedullary canal and the cortical bone were measured. The diameter of the canal was found to be 12.1 +/- 2.6 mm (mean +/- standard deviation) with the middle 50 per cent of measurements between 10 and 14 min. The overall diameter of the bone was 19.3 +/- 2.3 mm. with the middle 50 per cent of measurements between 18 and 21 mm. This study has shown that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an effective method of collecting dimensional data from any part of the skeleton for the development of medical devices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-35
    Number of pages4
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part H, Journal of Engineering in Medicine
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • long bones
    • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • intramedullary canal
    • upper limb

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