Monitoring Achilles Tendon Healing Progress in Ultrasound Imaging with Convolutional Neural Networks
Achilles tendon rupture is a debilitating injury, which is typically treated with surgical repair and long-term rehabilitation. The recovery, however, is protracted and often incomplete. Diagnosis, as well as healing progress assessment, are largely based on ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging. In this paper, we propose an automatic method based on deep learning for analysis of Achilles tendon condition and estimation of its healing progress on ultrasound images. We develop custom convolutional neural networks for classification and regression on healing score and feature extraction. Our models are trained and validated on an acquired dataset of over 250.000 sagittal and over 450.000 axial ultrasound slices. The obtained estimates show high correlation with the assessment of expert radiologists, with respect to all key parameters describing healing progress. We also observe that parameters associated with i.a. intratendinous healing processes are better modeled with sagittal slices. We prove that ultrasound imaging is quantitatively useful for clinical assessment of Achilles tendon healing process and should be viewed as complementary to magnetic resonance imaging.
KeywordsAchilles tendon rupture Deep learning Ultrasound
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