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Orthop Surg. 2017 May;9(2):257-260. doi: 10.1111/os.12324. Epub 2017 May 26.

Internal Fixation of Complicated Acetabular Fractures Directed by Preoperative Surgery with 3D Printing Models.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Tianjin Hospital, Tianjin, China.


The purpose of this article is to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of preoperative surgery with 3D printing-assisted internal fixation of complicated acetabular fractures. A retrospective case review was performed for the above surgical procedure. A 23-year-old man was confirmed by radiological examination to have fractures of multiple ribs, with hemopneumothorax and communicated fractures of the left acetabulum. According to the Letounel and Judet classification, T-shaped fracture involving posterior wall was diagnosed. A 3D printing pelvic model was established using CT digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) data preoperatively, with which surgical procedures were simulated in preoperative surgery to confirm the sequence of the reduction and fixation as well as the position and length of the implants. Open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) of the acetabular fracture using modified ilioinguinal and Kocher-Langenbeck approaches was performed 25 days after injury. Plates that had been pre-bent in the preoperative surgery were positioned and screws were tightened in the directions determined in the preoperative planning following satisfactory reduction. The duration of the operation was 170 min and blood loss was 900 mL. Postoperative X-rays showed that anatomical reduction of the acetabulum was achieved and the hip joint was congruous. The position and length of the implants were not different when compared with those in preoperative surgery on 3D printing models. We believe that preoperative surgery using 3D printing models is beneficial for confirming the reduction and fixation sequence, determining the reduction quality, shortening the operative time, minimizing preoperative difficulties, and predicting the prognosis for complicated fractures of acetabulam.


Acetabulum; Fracture fixation, internal; Three-dimensional printing; Treatment outcome

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