3D printing-based minimally invasive cannulated screw treatment of unstable pelvic fracture


Open access 3D printing-based minimally invasive cannulated screw treatment of unstable pelvic fracture, Cai, L., Zhang, Y., Chen, C. et al. J Orthop Surg Res (2018) 13: 71.


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. Conclusion 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.