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Patient-Specific Instrumentation & 3D Printing


Three-dimensional analysis, modelling and design as well as 3D printing of patient-specific instrumentation (PSI) have been revolutionising orthopaedic surgery for more than a decade. As the technology evolved and became justified by research, we started employing it in our clinic. At present, this modern technology is integral to our orthopaedic and limb reconstruction practice.

In our Limb Reconstruction Center, we offer an unparalleled approach that benefits both patients’ safety and surgeons’ meticulousness:

  • A precise 3D analysis of patients’ conditions, such as bone deformities or joint malalignment.
  • Scrupulous surgical strategy through virtual surgery planning prior to actual surgery.
  • Design and production of patient-specific instrumentation and implants (PSI).
  • Efficient and accurate surgery execution, employing custom-made PSIs.

Key ways in which Patient-Specific Instrumentation & 3D Printing is used

  1. Patient-Specific Anatomy Visualisation and Deformity analysis: For meticulous assessment of a patient’s bone and joint deformity it is crucial to obtain a Computer Tomography scan (CT) of their skeleton. In our hospital an advanced technology of weight bearing CT technology is available. Thanks to the team of our engineers, that CT scan is converted to a 3D image and further analysed using dedicated medical engineering software.
  2. Enhanced Communication and Patient Education: The patient and their surgeon can visualise and understand the deformity based on the 3D reconstruction and can discuss possible surgical approaches.
  3. Customised Treatment Plans and Surgical Simulation: The 3D image or 3D-printed model of the patient’s bones, allows for optimizing the strategy and plan surgical steps, prior to the actual surgery.
  4. PSI – Surgical Guides: Patient-specific surgical guides based on the patient’s anatomy are designed and printed by our engineers. Intraoperative use of PSI jigs guarantees accurate cut execution and precise placement of implants during the surgery. This allows for excellent surgical correction, minimises surgical errors and reduces trauma to surrounding soft tissues.
  5. Custom Implants: 3D printing allows for the creation of custom implants tailored to the patient’s unique anatomy. When standard, manufactured implants are not suitable, our engineers will design and produce implants that perfectly fit the individual patient.
  6. Reduced Surgery Time: With the use of virtual surgical planning and 3D-printed custom implants and surgical guides, surgery time is often reduced. This minimises anaesthesia exposure and reduces the risk of infection and complications associated with lengthy surgeries.
  7. Optimised Bone Alignment and Improved Outcomes: In limb reconstruction, achieving correct bone alignment is critical. Surgical jigs ensure that bones are aligned precisely, promoting proper weight-bearing and joint movement after surgery. The precision and customisation afforded by 3D printing and PSI lead to the best outcomes in limb reconstruction surgeries. Patients experience less pain and faster recovery times, as well as improved long-term function and aesthetics.
  8. Cost Efficiency: While the initial setup for 3D printing and PSI can be expensive, it results in cost savings over time. Reduced surgical complications, shorter hospital stays, and seamless surgical correction with reduced revision risk can offset the initial investment.
  9. Training: This technology is vital for the training of not only junior specialists. Experienced surgeons use 3D-printed models and PSI to refine their skills virtually before actual surgeries.

More information

The 3D technology, including 3D analysis, 3D modelling, virtual surgical planning, patient-specific instrumentation and patient-specific implant design has become a cornerstone of modern orthopaedic surgery offered at our Limb Reconstruction Centre. Contact Professor Al Muderis’ team for more information.

Norwest Private Hospital: (02) 8882 8882

Macquarie University Hospital: (02) 9812 3000