Accurate cervical screw insertion is of paramount importance considering the risk of damage to adjacent vital structures. Recent research in 3-dimensional (3D) technology describes the advantage of patient-specific drill guides for accurate screw positioning, but consensus about the optimal guide design and the accuracy is lacking.
To find the optimal design and to evaluate the accuracy of individualized 3D-printed drill guides for lateral mass and pedicle screw placement in the cervical and upper thoracic spine.
Five Thiel-embalmed human cadavers were used for individualized drill-guide planning of 86 screw trajectories in the cervical and upper thoracic spine. Using 3D bone models reconstructed from acquired computed tomography scans, the drill guides were produced for both pedicle and lateral mass screw trajectories. During the study, the initial minimalistic design was refined, resulting in the advanced guide design. Screw trajectories were drilled and the realized trajectories were compared to the planned trajectories using 3D deviation analysis.
The overall entry point and 3D angular accuracy were 0.76 ± 0.52 mm and 3.22 ± 2.34°, respectively. Average measurements for the minimalistic guides were 1.20 mm for entry points, 5.61° for the 3D angulation, 2.38° for the 2D axial angulation, and 4.80° for the 2D sagittal angulation. For the advanced guides, the respective measurements were 0.66 mm, 2.72°, 1.26°, and 2.12°, respectively.
The study ultimately resulted in an advanced guide design including caudally positioned hooks, crosslink support structure, and metal inlays. The novel advanced drill guide design yields excellent drilling accuracy.
Open reduction and internal fixation of pelvic fractures could restore the stability of the pelvic ring, but there were several problems. Minimally invasive closed reduction cannulated screw treatment of pelvic fractures has lots advantages. However, how to insert the cannulated screw safely and effectively to achieve a reliable fixation were still hard for orthopedist. Our aim was to explore the significance of 3D printing technology as a new method for minimally invasive cannulated screw treatment of unstable pelvic fracture.
One hundred thirty-seven patients with unstable pelvic fractures from 2014 to 2016 were retrospectively analyzed. Based on the usage of 3D printing technology for preoperative simulation surgery, they were assigned to 3D printing group (n = 65) and control group (n = 72), respectively. These two groups were assessed in terms of operative time, intraoperative fluoroscopy, postoperative reduction effect, fracture healing time, and follow-up function. The effect of 3D printing technology was evaluated through minimally invasive cannulated screw treatment.
There was no significant difference in these two groups with respect to general conditions, such as age, gender, fracture type, time from injury to operation, injury cause, and combined injury. Length of surgery and average number of fluoroscopies were statistically different for 3D printing group and the control group (p < 0.01), i.e., 58.6 vs. 72.3 min and 29.3 vs. 37 min, respectively. Using the Matta radiological scoring systems, the reduction was scored excellent in 21/65 cases (32.3%) and good in 30/65 cases (46.2%) for the 3D printing group, versus 22/72 cases (30.6%) scored as excellent and 36/72 cases (50%) as good for the control group. On the other hand, using the Majeed functional scoring criteria, there were 27/65 (41.5%) excellent and 26/65 (40%) good cases for the 3D printing group in comparison to 30/72 (41.7%) and 28/72 (38.9%) cases for the control group, respectively. This suggests no significant difference between these two groups about the function outcomes.
Full reduction and proper fixation of the pelvic ring and reconstruction of anatomical morphology are of great significance to patients’ early functional exercise and for the reduction of long-term complications. This retrospective study has demonstrated the 3D printing technology as a potential approach for improving the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic fractures.
Feasibility and accuracy of computer-assisted individual drill guide template for minimally invasive lumbar pedicle screw placement trajectory, Wang, Hongwei et al. Injury (2018) published ahead of print.
To discuss the feasibility and accuracy of a specific computer-assisted individual drill guide template (CIDGT) for minimally invasive lumbar pedicle screw placement trajectory (MI-LPT) through a bovine cadaveric experimental study.
A 3-D reconstruction model, including lumbar vertebras (L1-L5), was generated, and the optimal MI-LPTs were determined. A drill guide template with a surface made of the antitemplate of the vertebral surface, including the spinous process and the entry point vertebral surface, was created by reverse engineering and rapid prototyping techniques. Then, MI-LPTs were determined by the drill guide templates, and the trajectories made by K-wires were observed by postoperative CT scan.
General Hospital of Shenyang Military Area Command of Chinese PLA.
In total, 150 K-wires for MI-LPTs were successfully inserted into L1-L5. The required mean time and fluoroscopy times between fixation of the template to the spinous process, entry point vertebral surface, and insertion of the K-wires for minimally invasive lumbar pedicle screw placement trajectories into each vertebra were 79.4 ± 15.0 seconds and 2.1 ± 0.8 times. There were no significant differences between the preoperative plan and postoperative assessment in the distance from the puncture to the midline and inclination angles according to the different levels (P > 0.05, respectively). The mean deviation between the preoperative plan and postoperative assessment in the distance from the puncture to the midline and inclination angles were 0.8 ± 0.5 mm and 0.9 ± 0.5°, respectively.
The potential use of the novel CIDGT, which was based on the unique morphology of the lumbar vertebra to place minimally invasive lumbar pedicle screws, is promising and could prevent too much radiation exposure intraoperatively.