Pre-selecting surgical equipment with 3D printing
A young child presented at The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children with a complex pseudarthrosis in the clavicle. In this case, the patient's collarbone had grown abnormally, causing the bone to begin protruding on the patient's skin, causing significant discomfort.
A 3D anatomical model was created from the patient’s CT scans and was used to plan the upcoming surgical intervention. The surgeon, Mr. Ballard, found that the 3D model uniquely enhanced his understanding of the rotation of the deformed clavicle in relation to the surrounding anatomy.
Mr. Ballard used the 3D model to plan the exact cutting planes as well as screw and plate selection and placement ahead of time. Having this ability to adapt the instruments in advance, the result was a much higher compatibility and enabled a reduction in operation time, while giving the patient a dramatically improved surgical experience. Furthermore, the 3D model was also used to inform the patient’s family about the planned operation, therefore dramatically improving their confidence and understanding of the procedure.
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