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Advances in Orthopedics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 617046, 4 pages
Research Article

A Feasibility Study into the Use of Three-Dimensional Printer Modelling in Acetabular Fracture Surgery

1St Mary’s Hospital, London W2 1NY, UK
2Orthopaedic Department, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF, UK
3Imperial College NHS Trust, London SW7 2AZ, UK

Received 27 July 2014; Accepted 8 January 2015

Academic Editor: Boris Zelle

Copyright © 2015 A. W. Yu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There are a number of challenges associated with the operative treatment of acetabular fractures. The approach used is often extensive, while operative time and perioperative blood loss can also be significant. With the proliferation of 3D printer technology, we present a fast and economical way to aid the operative planning of complex fractures. We used augmented stereoscopic 3D CT reconstructions to allow for an appreciation of the normal 3D anatomy of the pelvis on the fractured side and to use the models for subsequent intraoperative contouring of pelvic reconstruction plates. This leads to a reduction in the associated soft tissue trauma, reduced intraoperative time and blood loss, minimal handling of the plate, and reduced fluoroscopic screening times. We feel that the use of this technology to customize implants, plates, and the operative procedure to a patient’s unique anatomy can only lead to improved outcomes.