Surgical planning with 3D printed bone modelsThes3D
Ultimaker 3D printers are being adopted by many different industries including architecture, engineering and medicine. What’s inspiring is that they are now being actively used by healthcare professionals not only to educate patients about their condition, but also to plan complex surgeries – even using the models during the operation as a guide.
Boyd Goldie, an orthopaedic surgeon working in a private hospital in London, treats patients that range from emergencies to non-emergency elective problems covering a whole host of upper limb surgery.
To help him prepare for surgery, his radiographers take a CT scan of the patient’s problem and save the data to a CD for Dr Goldie to review. He can see a virtual 3D model of the bone on screen, but as he remarks, “There’s nothing like holding a model in your hands, thinking about where it is in the body and working out how you’re going to fix the problem.”
With modern radiology software you can get a virtual model on-screen, but there’s nothing like holding a model in your hands