Analysis of the advantages of 3D printing in the surgical treatment of multiple rib fractures: 5 cases report

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Background: Rib fractures account for a fairly high proportion of chest injuries, ranging from 55 to 80%. The most common mechanisms of injury include: traffic accident, extrusion and falls from significant heights. Besides, the surgical treatment of multiple rib fractures has been accepted by more and more medical professionals. We reported 5 clinical cases of patients with multiple rib fractures undergoing open reduction and internal fixation using 3D printing technology. Case presentation: Retrospective analysis of 5 clinical cases of multiple rib fractures from January 2017 to August 2018 in our hospital. A preoperative CT thin slice scan was used to reconstruct the 3D model according to the scanning results, and 3D printing technology was adopted to prepare the rib model. Preoperative reconstruction of the rib's normal shape and lock plate for the shaped ribs was created according to reconstructed model. For multiple fractures especially patients with severely deformed rib shape, it is suggested to intraoperative shape directly to the metal bone plate fixed on the ribs on both ends of the fracture line, in order to establish a basic support frame. The other various fracture section can be fixed on the lock plate respectively. Postoperative chest radiographs of the 5 patients showed that the internal fixations were in good and natural shape. The thoracic contour was well formed and symmetrically with the contralateral side. Conclusion: Making the rib model and the pre-shaped titanium alloy rib locking plate using 3D printing technology, provided a more minimally invasive and precisely individualized treatment for some rib fracture operations.




Zhou, X. T., Zhang, D. S., Yang, Y., Zhang, G. L., Xie, Z. X., Chen, M. H., & Liang, Z. (2019). Analysis of the advantages of 3D printing in the surgical treatment of multiple rib fractures: 5 cases report. Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 14(1).

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