Case Studies Complex Olecranon Fracture of the Elbow - Ortho case

Building confidence in a safer, alternative route to surgery with 3D modeling

Case Study
  • Orthopedics

The Case

This orthopedic surgeon had planned an elective surgery for his patient, but was not confident that he would be able to successfully complete this surgery due to a complex Olecranon Fracture - a break in the “pointy bone” of the elbow that sticks out when the arm is bent. This type of fracture is common and usually occurs in isolation, but can sometimes also be part of a more severe elbow injury.

The Solution

The physician was unsure if a surgical procedure would be possible due to the severity of the fracture, so ordered a patient-specific 3D anatomical model to see if he could come up with a clearer plan that could be successful and then to practice the procedure. Having access to the 3D model gave the surgeon an entirely new perspective of the patient’s condition and confidence in a revised approach for safely carrying out surgery. What is more, he was able to practice the complex surgery beforehand, which again was of huge benefit.

Benefits of using the 3D Model

As a result, the surgery was completely successful with the patient receiving a full elbow replacement. The surgeon further called out in feedback that 3D models are in fact much better for planning than any 2D visualization currently available.

As a further benefit, this model also had a positive impact in helping the patient to much better understand his condition and enabling him to consent for the new surgical approach.

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