Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Timothy D. Wilson

2nd Supervisor

Charles L. Rice

Joint Supervisor


This dissertation is an exploration of three-dimensional (3D) anatomy using the hip joint as the model of study. Very few studies have taken advantage of 3D modeling to assess the features of commercially available software, or to assess the validity and reliability of 3D morphometrics. This dissertation compared three reconstructive software programs to survey user appreciation concerning how 3D anatomical reconstructive software can be utilized and then established the advantages and limitations of 3D measurements in the hip joint. Three main studies are presented: the first, a comparison of three widely available 3D reconstructive software programs, Amira, OsiriX, and Mimics. This comparison used a decision matrix to outline which software is best suited for construction of 3D anatomical models, morphometric analysis, and building 3D visualization and learning tools. Mimics was the best-suited program for construction of 3D anatomical models and morphometric analysis. For creating a learning tool the results were less clear. OsiriX was very user- friendly; however, it had limited capabilities. Conversely, although Amira had endless potential and could create complex dynamic videos it had a challenging interface. Based on the overall results of study one, Mimics was used in the second and third studies to quantify 3D surface morphology of the hip joint. The second study assessed the validity and reliability of a novel 3D measurement approach of the femoral head (n=45). Study two highlighted the advantages of modeling a convex shape and the advantages of quantifying the proximal femur in 3D. This measurement approach proved to be valid and reliable. The third study assessed the validity and reliability of a similar 3D measurement approach applied to the acetabulum (n=45). This study illustrated the limitations and challenges encountered when quantifying the complex geometry of the concave acetabulum. This measurement approach was reliable, yet the differences between the digital and cadaveric measurements were large and clinically significant. The hip joint is a complex joint that benefits from 3D visualization and quantification; however, challenges surrounding measuring the acetabulum remain.