Case Studies Osteosarcoma and surrounding vasculature.

Enhanced visualizations of complex anatomy made possible with 3D printing

Case Study
  • Orthopedics

The Case

Osteosarcoma, while rare, is the most common primary bone cancer in children and adolescents, accounting for approximately 10% of new pediatric cancer diagnoses in the United States each year.1 In this case, the patient presented with osteosarcoma of the femur. A physical 3D model was requested from Axial3D, and reconstructed from 1100 MRI and CT images.


The team's main objective for acquiring the model was to understand the specific location of the osteosarcoma in relation to other key anatomy:

  • Muscles of the leg (clear)
  • Bony anatomy (white)
  • Veins & arteries (blue & red)
  • Tumor (green)

Benefits of using the 3D Model

The model was critical in the team's ability to visualize the close proximity of the osteosarcoma and surrounding vasculature.

With this unique clarity and insight, the 3D model became an incredibly powerful visual tool for rapidly getting agreement within the surgical team as to the best approach to take for this life threatening condition.

In addition the model was used to fully explain the surgical procedure to the patient's parents. Parental education and consent is a particularly sensitive but critical step, balancing the need to give the parents enough clarity of information to allow them to make decisions about the care to be given to their child, whilst trying to minimize anxiety for the family.

1 The Team Approach to Osteosarcoma of the Distal Femur in an Adolescent -

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