Fracture detection in x-ray images through stacked random forests feature fusion
Bone fractures are among the most common traumas in musculoskeletal injuries. They are also frequently missed during the radiological examination. Thus, there is a need for assistive technologies for radiologists in this field. Previous automatic bone fracture detection work has focused on detection of specific fracture types in a single anatomical region. In this paper, we present a generalized bone fracture detection method that is applicable to multiple bone fracture types and multiple bone structures throughout the body. The method uses features extracted from candidate patches in X-ray images in a novel discriminative learning framework called the Stacked Random Forests Feature Fusion. This is a multilayer learning formulation in which the class probability labels, produced by random forests learners at a lower level, are used to derive the refined class distribution labels at the next level. The candidate patches themselves are selected using an efficient subwindow search algorithm. The outcome of the method is a number of fracture bounding-boxes ranked from the most likely to the least likely to contain a fracture. We evaluate the proposed method on a set of 145 X-rays images. When the top ranking seven fracture bounding-boxes are considered, we are able to capture 81.2% of the fracture findings reported by a radiologist. The proposed method outperforms other fracture detection frameworks that use local features, and single layer random forests and support vector machine classification.