3D printed models ensure success for robot-guided spinal surgery

Using a 3D printed model, French surgeons have performed the world’s first robot guided minimally invasive surgery on a scoliosis-affected child’s spine. Dr. François Deroussen, Prof. Richard Gouron, and Dr. Michel Lefranc together with anaesthetists from Amiens-Picardie University Hospital performed the operation with the help of Med Tech’s ROSA robot to align and guide the the surgeons.

To prepare the procedure, and be as accurate as possible, the surgeons trained for the surgery on a 3D printed model of the patient. Using this model, the surgeons were able to perfect the timing of the surgery, and procedural practice for working with the ROSA robot.

A world’s first simulation

In an interview, Gouron stated that the operation was both “a first in simulation, and a first in the surgical installation of sacroilliac (lower spine to pelvis) screws using a robot.”

While spinal models have already been developed and 3D printed as an aid for surgeons, this is the first time an entire 3D printed model of a patient’s body, simulating skin, muscle and bone to scale has that been recreated.

The child was initially scanned to determine the positioning of his bones when on the operating table. A 3D reconstruction of his chest cavity was then exported to a printer, and then integrated with a reconstruction of his spine. The model was printed by SimUsanté, a training center attached to the hospital.

A world’s first procedure

One of the most complex parts of an already delicate procedure was placing the sacroilliac screws and for the hooks along which the rods could be attached to straighten out the back. The 7mm screws had to be placed into a bone corridor 8mm wide, leaving no room for imprecision.

To keep the surgery minimally invasive, incisions were made along the back using the model as a guide, where the robot then drilled into the bone. Thanks to the preparations made using the 3D printed model, the rods were pre-aligned in the correct position.

Rushabh Haria | 3D Printing Industry

Illustration Credit: MedTech


About Peter Coffaro 818 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the orthopedic industry. Recognized by MedReps.com as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager and Distributor. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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