Clinical applications of custom 3D printed implants in complex lower extremity reconstruction.
BACKGROUND: Three dimensional printing has greatly advanced over the past decade and has made an impact in several industries. Within the field of orthopaedic surgery, this technology has vastly improved education and advanced patient care by providing innovating tools to complex clinical problems. Anatomic models are frequently used for physician education and preoperative planning, and custom instrumentation can assist in complex surgical cases. Foot and ankle reconstruction is often complicated by multiplanar deformity and bone loss. 3D printing technology offers solutions to these complex cases with customized implants that conform to anatomy and patient specific instrumentation that enables precise deformity correction. CASE PRESENTATION: The authors present four cases of complex lower extremity reconstruction involving segmental bone loss and deformity - failed total ankle arthroplasty, talus avascular necrosis, ballistic trauma, and nonunion of a tibial osteotomy. Traditional operative management is challenging in these cases and there are high complication rates. Each case presents a unique clinical scenario for which 3D printing technology allows for innovative solutions. CONCLUSIONS: 3D printing is becoming more widespread within orthopaedic surgery. This technology provides surgeons with tools to better tackle some of the more challenging clinical cases especially within the field of foot and ankle surgery.
Kadakia, RJ; Wixted, CM; Allen, NB; Hanselman, AE; Adams, SB
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