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Sunday, 7 April 2019

3D printing makes spine surgery easier


3D printing makes spine surgery easier




An orthopedic surgeon from All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) has developed 3D printing technology for complex orthopedic, spinal and reconstructive surgeries while saying it can help to reduce complications significantly, apart from aiding in difficult cases. With the help of the 3D images from the CT scan, expert can develop the stereolithograpy of the damaged bone. This can be of great assistance to doctors because even a minor mistake or miscalculation during the correction of the spine deformity can cause paralysis or deformity," said Dr Bhavuk Garg. He also added with use of these "navigational template fit the vertebra perfectly' and provide a great assistance to the surgeon to avoid any single mistakes.

"Spinal deformities are usually associated with significant morbidity and mortality. These problems are very challenging to treat and have a great risk of neurologic complications because of hardware placement during corrective surgery. After the introduction of pedicle screws, scoliosis correction surgeries have witnessed a revolutionary shift, necessitating the placement of a screw within the pedicle with accuracy and safety," he said.


This precision is essential to avoid potential complications because of small bone geometry and the juxtaposition to the spinal cord, he added. "Surgical time was significantly less in the 3D printing group compared with the freehand group , moreover blood loss was higher in the freehand group but not statistically significant, Dr Garg added. He also said that we found a statistically significant higher rate of accurate screw positioning with 3D printing. In spite of a similar vertebral fusion span, more screws were inserted in the 3D printing group, which was possible because of enhanced safety, particularly at apical levels. "Soft tissues have to be stripped completely to make templates fit. Preoperative preparation of these templates takes around 10–12 hours per patient; however, the preoperative preparation is justified in view of statistically significant less surgical time and radiation exposure. Because bigger and less rotated pedicles do not require much surgical expertise and time compared with difficult ones, we are now using this technique only for difficult pedicles to save time and cost," he added. 


Source : Millennium Post , 31 March 2019 

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