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In Journal of orthopaedic translation

Background : Loosening is the leading cause of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) revision. This is a heavy burden toward the healthcare system owing to the difficulty in diagnosis and complications occurring from the delay management. Based on automatic analytical model building, machine learning, may potentially help to automatically recognize the risk of loosening based on radiographs alone. The aim of this study was to build an image-based machine-learning model for detecting TKA loosening.

Methods : Image-based machine-learning model was developed based on ImageNet, Xception model and a TKA patient X-ray image dataset. Based on a dataset with TKA patient clinical parameters, another system was then created for developing the clinical-information-based machine learning model with random forest classifier. In addition, the Xception Model was pre-trained on the ImageNet database with python and TensorFlow deep learning library for the prediction of loosening. Class activation maps were also used to interpret the prediction decision made by model. Two senior orthopaedic specialists were invited to assess loosening from X-ray images for 3 attempts in setting up comparison benchmark.

Result : In the image-based machine learning loosening model, the precision rate and recall rate were 0.92 and 0.96, respectively. While for the accuracy rate, 96.3% for visualization classification was observed. However, the addition of clinical-information-based model, with precision rate of 0.71 and recall rate of 0.20, did not further showed improvement on the accuracy. Moreover, as class activation maps showed corresponding signals over bone-implant interface that is loosened radiographically, this confirms that the current model utilized a similar image recognition pattern as that of inspection by clinical specialists.

Conclusion : The image-based machine learning model developed demonstrated high accuracy and predictability of knee arthroplasty loosening. And the class activation heatmap matched well with the radiographic features used clinically to detect loosening, which highlighting its potential role in assisting clinicians in their daily practice. However, addition of clinical-information-based machine-learning model did not offer further improvement in detection. As far as we know, this is the first report of pure image-based machine learning model with high detection accuracy. Importantly, this is also the first model to show relevant class activation heatmap corresponding to loosening location.

Translational potential : The finding in this study indicated image-based machine learning model can detect knee arthroplasty loosening with high accuracy and predictability, which the class activation heatmap can potentially assist surgeons to identify the sites of loosening.

Lau Lawrence Chun Man, Chui Elvis Chun Sing, Man Gene Chi Wai, Xin Ye, Ho Kevin Ki Wai, Mak Kyle Ka Kwan, Ong Michael Tim Yun, Law Sheung Wai, Cheung Wing Hoi, Yung Patrick Shu Hang


AI, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial intelligence, CNN, Convolutional Neural Network, Machine learning, Predictive modeling, ROC, Receiver Operating Characteristic, TKA, Total Knee Arthroplasty, Total knee arthroplasty, Xception model, loosening