Background: The EOS™ X-ray machine, based on a Nobel prize-winning invention in physics in the field of particle detection, is capable of a simultaneous capture of biplanar X-ray images by slot scanning of the whole body in an upright, physiological load-bearing position, using ultra-low radiation doses. The simultaneous capture of spatially calibrated anterioposterior and lateral images provides a three-dimensional (3D) surface reconstruction of the skeletal system using a special software. Parts of the skeletal system in X-ray images and 3D-reconstructed models appear in true 1:1 scale for size and volume, thus spinal and vertebral parameters, lower limb axis lengths and angles, as well as any relevant clinical parameters in orthopaedic practice can be very precisely measured and calculated. Visualisation of 3D reconstructed models in various views by sterEOS 3D software enables presentation of top view images to help analyse rotational conditions of lower limbs, joints and spine deformities in the horizontal plane, providing revolutionary novel possibilities in orthopaedic surgery, especially in spine surgery.
Approach and conclusions: Our department has been extensively using the very first commercially available EOS™ imaging system worldwide for routine orthopaedic diagnostics since June 2007. During this period of about 4.5 years, more than 5,700 standard examinations have been carried out, about a third of them in spine deformity cases and the rest in lower limb orthopaedic cases. In this mini-review, general principles and uses of this groundbreaking integrated orthopaedic solution is reviewed with a few highlighted examples from our own clinical practice.