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Virtual Reality in the surgical arthroscopical training
Arthroscopy has already become an irreplacable method in diagnostics. The arthroscope, with optics and light source, and the exploratory probe are inserted into the knee joint through two smal incisions located unterneath the patella. Currently, the skills required for arthroscopy are taught through hands-on clinical experience. Therefore, the Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Graphische Datenverarbeitung in Darmstadt, in cooperation with the Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik Frankfurt am Main, developed a highly interactive medical training system for arthroscopy through computer graphics and virtual reality (VR) techniques. Two main issues could be addressed: the 3D reconstruction process and the 3D interaction. The goal of the reconstruction process was to obtain a realistic representation of the knee joint derived from a MR (magnetic resonance) image sequence, which had to be suitable for computer simulation. Moreover, the 3D interaction of the training system had to simulate areal ar throscopy, providing an intuitive handling of the instruments.