The new components could allow for new applications in spinal surgery, including preoperative planning, surgical simulation, and potentially implantable devices
A group of Turkish doctors have evaluated the feasibility of using 3D bioprinting technology to raise success percentages in spinal surgery. By combining CT scanning and 3D bioprinting technologies, Dr. Alpaslan Şenköylü, İsmail Daldal and Mehmet Çetinkaya were able to rapidly convert anatomical images into a series of guides and 3D models. The new components could allow for new applications in spinal surgery, including preoperative planning, surgical simulation, and potentially implantable devices, stress the research team.
A pilot study carried out on 11 patients
According to the doctors, traditional intraoperative techniques such as CT scanning and fluoroscopy-based methods can lead to prolonged surgery duration, radiation exposure, and high costs. During a pilot study, the procedure was carried out using 3D guides on eleven patients. The components enabled preoperative planning, facilitated pedicle screw insertion intraoperatively, and the method was found to be economical and accessible. Similarly, a study carried out in 2019 used 3D printed guides on a series of 15 severe congenital scoliosis patients. The doctors surmised that screw insertion was more accurate than the steadiest freehand technique, and recommended the guides to those surgeons that do not have access to CT scanners or O-arm navigation.
The Turkish researchers concluded that using 3D printed guides leads to raised patient safety, allows surgeons to perform more complicated operations, and enables the creation of customized implants for bone defects. Future applications could be in preoperative planning, surgical simulations and intraoperative guidance.
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