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This paper proposes a noninvasive method to diagnose chondromalacia patella at its early stages by recording knee vibration signals (also known as vibroarthrographic or VAG signals) over the mid-patella during normal movement. An adaptive segmentation method was developed to segment the nonstationary VAG signals. The least squares modeling method was used to reduce the number of data samples to a few model parameters. Model parameters along with a few clinical parameters and a signal variability parameter were then used as discriminant features for screening VAG signals by applying logistic and discriminant algorithms. The system was trained using ten normal and eight abnormal signals. It correctly screened a separate test set of ten normal and eight abnormal signals except for one normal signal. The proposed method should find use as an alternative technique for diagnosis of knee joint pathology or as a test before arthroscopy or major knee surgery.
Date of Publication: Jan. 1996