Three-dimensional printing in spine surgery: a review of current applications.
- In recent years, the use of three-dimensional printing (3DP) technology has gained traction in orthopedic spine surgery. Although research on this topic is still primarily limited to case reports and small cohort studies, it is evident that there are many avenues for 3DP innovation in the field. This review article aims to discuss the current and emerging 3DP applications in spine surgery, as well as the challenges of 3DP production and limitations in its use. 3DP models have been presented as helpful tools for patient education, medical training, and presurgical planning. Intraoperatively, 3DP devices may serve as patient-specific surgical guides and implants that improve surgical outcomes. However, the time, cost, and learning curve associated with constructing a 3DP model are major barriers to widespread use in spine surgery. Considering the costs and benefits of 3DP along with the varying risks associated with different spine procedures, 3DP technology is likely most valuable for complex or atypical spine disorder cases. Further research is warranted to gain a better understanding of how 3DP can and will impact spine surgery.
(Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.)
- Academic Journal
- The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society
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