A 3 year old boy presented with post septic arthritis destruction of his left proximal femur, a rare infection that was causing severe damage to his legs and pelvis. His surgeon had planned a hip reconstruction by femoral and pelvic osteotomies and abductor transfer. However, he required additional clarity into the current state of the patient’s right hip – with a particular focus on the proximal femur that he was not able to get from the patients CT.

As delays in the diagnosis and treatment of septic arthritis in childhood can result in severe complications, timing was critical. While the surgeon required the additional insights into the patient’s condition, he – nor his patient – could afford to wait weeks for them.

A 3D model was created using the patient’s  CT images and shipped to the surgeon within 48 hours, with a 3D virtual model sent on the day of the request, as seen above . The main purpose of the model was to enable the surgeon to clearly understand the shape and length of the remaining femoral neck and greater trochanter.

Using the 3D printed model, the surgeon was able to dry run the procedure and trial the angles of guidewire insertion, fixation, and osteotomy, removing any uncertainties or surprises and increasing his confidence in the plan. The tactile 3D visualization of the anatomy was key for the surgeon in performing the correct osteotomy.

“The model re-assured me that my Plan A fixation would work. We didn’t see a cost saving as the kit we use for this is on the shelf in our hospital. But if this kit is a loan kit – as it is in most hospitals – then this 3D model would have prevented waste and money.”

Working at speed, Axial3D was able to support this surgeon to gain clarity and confidence over his proposed treatment for this child well in advance of stepping foot in the OR. The surgeon confirmed his planned approach was correct, and was able to carry out the operation successfully while reducing risks to the child.

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