Study supports utility of 3-D printing for planning of complex spinal surgery
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 Healio.com/Orthopedics. “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.”
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.