For decades, the advantages of rapid prototyping for clinical use have been recognized. However, demonstrations of potential solutions to treat spinal problems that cannot be solved otherwise are scarce. In this paper, we describe the development, regulatory process, and clinical application of two types of patient specific 3D-printed devices that were developed at an in-house 3D point-of-care facility. This 3D lab made it possible to elegantly treat patients with spinal problems that could not have been treated in a conventional manner. The first device, applied in three patients, is a printed nylon drill guide, with such accuracy that it can be used for insertion of cervical pedicle screws in very young children, which has been applied even in semi-acute settings. The other is a 3D-printed titanium spinal column prosthesis that was used to treat progressive and severe deformities due to lysis of the anterior column in three patients. The unique opportunity to control size, shape, and material characteristics allowed a relatively easy solution for these patients, who were developing paraplegia. In this paper, we discuss the pathway toward the design and final application, including technical file creation for dossier building and challenges within a point-of-care lab.
- Pedicle guides
- Spinal implants