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Journal of Trauma and Orthopaedics (JTO): The use of 3D printing in paediatric orthopaedics for pre-operative planning and bespoke therapeutics

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08 December 2016

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The use of 3D printing in pediatric orthopedics for pre-operative planning and bespoke therapeutics

3D printed models have been used to improve diagnosis and enhance pre-operative planning in a number of procedures. This article highlights the application of 3D printing applied to three pediatric cases from the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children:

The Core Benefits:
  • Improved pre-operative planning
  • Enhanced understanding of existing diagnoses
  • Reduced operating times
  • Education of junior surgeons
  • Improvement in patient understanding
Three-dimensional physical models allow a much greater conceptual understanding of the patient’s pathology. A full scale, tangible model of the patient’s anatomy adds an additional element of certainty when planning surgery. This cannot be achieved with conventional, two-dimensional radiography, or even computational 3D multiplanar reconstructions. With the added information that a 3D printed model gives, there are often changes or additions to the original diagnosis and planning of surgery. The use of 3D models for pre-operative planning enhances efficiency by reducing surgical theatre time and the risk of complications.
  Mr. Jim Ballard, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children
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Three-dimensional physical models allow a much greater conceptual understanding of the patient’s pathology. A full scale, tangible model of the patient’s anatomy adds an additional element of certainty when planning surgery. This cannot be achieved with conventional, two-dimensional radiography, or even computational 3D multiplanar reconstructions. With the added information that a 3D printed model gives, there are often changes or additions to the original diagnosis and planning of surgery. The use of 3D models for pre-operative planning enhances efficiency by reducing surgical theatre time and the risk of complications.