ANZIAM  J.  44 (2003), 561-568
Determining rotational deformity in broken forearms

Y. M. Stokes
  Department of Applied Mathematics
  University of Adelaide
  Adelaide SA 5005

To assess rotational deformity in a broken forearm, an orthopaedic surgeon needs to determine the amount of rotation of the radius from one or more two-dimensional x-rays of the fracture. This requires only simple first-year university mathematics --- rotational transformations of ellipses plus a little differential calculus --- which yields a general formula giving the rotation angle from information obtained from an x-ray. Preliminary comparisons with experimental results are excellent. This is a practical problem that may be useful to motivate the teaching of conic sections.
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