Outcomes of Surgical Reconstruction Using Custom 3D-Printed Porous Titanium Implants for Critical-Sized Bone Defects of the Foot and Ankle.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Treating critically sized defects (CSDs) of bone remains a significant challenge in foot and ankle surgery. Custom 3D-printed implants are being offered to a small but growing subset of patients as a salvage procedure in lieu of traditional alternates such as structural allografts after the patient has failed prior procedures. The long-term outcomes of 3D-printed implants are still unknown and understudied because of the limited number of cases and short follow-up durations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of patients who received custom 3D-printed implants to treat CSDs of the foot and ankle in an attempt to aid surgeons in selecting appropriate surgical candidates. METHODS: This was a retrospective study to assess surgical outcomes of patients who underwent implantation of a custom 3D-printed implant made with medical-grade titanium alloy powder (Ti-6Al-4V) to treat CSDs of the foot and ankle between June 1, 2014, and September 30, 2019. All patients had failed previous nonoperative or operative management before proceeding with treatment with a custom 3D-printed implant. Univariate and multivariate odds ratios (ORs) of a secondary surgery and implant removal were calculated for perioperative variables. RESULTS: There were 39 cases of patients who received a custom 3D-printed implant with at least 1 year of follow-up. The mean follow-up time was 27.0 (12-74) months. Thirteen of 39 cases (33.3%) required a secondary surgery and 10 of 39 (25.6%) required removal of the implant because of septic nonunion (6/10) or aseptic nonunion (4/10). The mean time to secondary surgery was 10 months (1-22). Multivariate logistic regression revealed that patients with neuropathy were more likely to require a secondary surgery with an OR of 5.76 (P = .03). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that 74% of patients who received a custom 3D-printed implant for CSDs did not require as subsequent surgery (minimum of 1-year follow-up). Neuropathy was significantly associated with the need for a secondary surgery. This is the largest series to date demonstrating the efficacy of 3D-printed custom titanium implants. As the number of cases using patient-specific 3D-printed titanium implant increases, larger cohorts of patients should be studied to identify other high-risk groups and possible interventions to improve surgical outcomes. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, case series.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abar, B; Kwon, N; Allen, NB; Lau, T; Johnson, LG; Gall, K; Adams, SB

Published Date

  • June 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 750 - 761

PubMed ID

  • 35209733

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9177519

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1944-7876

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/10711007221077113


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States