Three-dimensional printing in paediatric orthopaedic surgery

Sven Goetstouwers, Dagmar Kempink, Bertram The, Denise Eygendaal, Bart van Oirschot, Christiaan Ja van Bergen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a rapidly evolving and promising field to improve outcomes of orthopaedic surgery. The use of patient-specific 3D-printed models is specifically interesting in paediatric orthopaedic surgery, as limb deformity corrections often require an individual 3D treatment. In this editorial, various operative applications of 3D printing in paediatric orthopaedic surgery are discussed. The technical aspects and the imaging acquisition with computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are outlined. Next, there is a focus on the intraoperative applications of 3D printing during paediatric orthopaedic surgical procedures. An overview of various upper and lower limb deformities in paediatrics is given, in which 3D printing is already implemented, including posttraumatic forearm corrections and proximal femoral osteotomies. The use of patient-specific instrumentation (PSI) or guiding templates during the surgical procedure shows to be promising in reducing operation time, intraoperative haemorrhage and radiation exposure. Moreover, 3D-printed models for the use of PSI or patient-specific navigation templates are promising in improving the accuracy of complex limb deformity surgery in children. Lastly, the future of 3D printing in paediatric orthopaedics extends beyond the intraoperative applications; various other medical applications include 3D casting and prosthetic limb replacement. In conclusion, 3D printing opportunities are numerous, and the fast developments are exciting, but more evidence is required to prove its superiority over conventional paediatric orthopaedic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Orthopedics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2022

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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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