Open Access Opinion

The Underutilization of 3D Printing in Orthopaedics

Joshua Vic Chen1* and Alexis Dang1,2

1CA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, USA

2CA Department of Surgery, San Francisco VA Health Center, Orthopaedic Section, USA

Corresponding Author

Received Date: January 07, 2021;  Published Date: January 18, 2021


3D printing has several clinical applications notably perioperative planning yet is currently underutilized in orthopaedics and more broadly in surgery. This underutilization can be understood in terms of cost, technical familiarity with this technology, and concerns with efficacy. Advances in hardware and open-source software has made 3D printing lower-cost and increasingly accessible, general steps for translating DICOM imaging to tangible 3D prints and guidelines for clinical appropriateness have been published by Radiology Society of North America 3D Printing Special Interest Group, and current literature supports improved surgical outcomes as measured by reduced time spent intraoperatively and improved surgical accuracy.

Keywords: 3D printing; Surgery; Orthopaedics; Efficacy; Education; FFF; SLA; Guidelines

Abbreviations: 3D: three-dimensional; FFF: fused filament fabrication; PLA: polylactic acid RSNA: Radiology Society of North America; SLA: stereolithography; UCSF: University of California San Francisco

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