May 15, 2017
1 min read

Study supports utility of 3-D printing for planning of complex spinal surgery

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

Investigators of this case report highlighted the use of 3-D printing for the development of customized prostheses and surgical planning, and noted the technology can make complex spinal surgery less difficult.

“3-D printing has the capacity to deliver [a] patient-specific prosthesis [and] to restore anatomical detail that is not possible with ‘off-the-shelf’ implants,” Ralph J. Mobbs, MD, FRACS, told “This can add significant value for patients with cancer, trauma or deformity and provide surgeons with more reconstructive options. It is the way of the future.”

Ralph J. Mobbs

Mobbs and colleagues identified a case in which 3-D printing was used during surgical planning and another case in which the technology was used to create a custom-designed titanium prosthesis. One patient was a 63-year old man who underwent tumor resection and vertebral reconstruction due to C1-C2 chordoma. Surgeons created a 3-D printed plastic model of the craniocervical anatomy and a 3-D printed titanium implant for the patient. The second patient was a 52-year-old woman with a congenital spinal deformity who underwent an anterior fusion with a custom-designed 3-D printed titanium cage.

Results from both cases showed the 3-D printed implants were easily placed, which investigators noted shortened the length of the procedure and avoided the need for a more complex reconstruction. Successful fusion was seen in both cases at 9 months and 12 months, respectively, at radiological follow-up. – by Monica Jaramillo

Disclosures: Mobbs reports he is a consultant for Stryker, Kasios Biomaterial and A-Spine Asia. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.