Modern technology continues to evolve rapidly and with the groundbreaking new diagnostic tool of three-dimensional models, orthopedic surgeons can now perform orthopaedic surgery with more efficacy. 3-D models are becoming recognized in the orthopedic field as a valuable pre-surgical tool that not only allows spinal surgeons to inspect and diagnosis patients who suffer with spinal injuries or other skeletal problems, but also allows them to spend less time in the operating room. With the use of a CT or MRI scan, a realistic model of the patient’s spinal injury or abnormality is made allowing the surgeon to examine the injury and plan and practice the surgical procedure that may be required. With preplanning, the spinal surgeon knows beforehand exactly the techniques that will be used to complete the surgery, reducing time and cost. This also improves the chances of error, as surgeons know exactly what they are facing before the actual surgery.
3-D models are now being used by orthopaedic surgeons to exam patients with spinal conditions such as stenosis, spondylitis, spondylosis, kyphosis, lordosis and lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine disorders. Three-dimensional models are also valuable in analyzing and diagnosing infants with spina bifida, patients suffering with a spinal cord injury or those who may require back surgery such as laminectomy.
With the use of a 3-D model of the patient’s exact anatomy, it has been shown that surgical time can be reduced by 10 to 15 percent. This dramatically reduces the costs for patients, while providing a safer surgery. When surgeons use models for pre-surgical planning, surgical procedures that normally require many hours can be reduced. This cuts costs of the surgical team, which includes nursing staff, orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists. It also reduces the costs of the operating room and medical equipment. Costs normally average about $20,000 an hour, when combined. When this cost is cut down by an hour or two, it can provide a substantial savings.
Of course, safety is always the number one issue and no corners should be cut when it comes to this, but with the use of a surgeons are more prepared pre-operatively for the This cuts down extremely on chances of error during the operation by giving the surgeon the opportunity to carefully go over the entire procedure before the actual operation is performed. Patients benefit from a planned surgery by the surgeon and a lower time being under anesthesia while also avoiding having to undergo long hours of surgery.
Jeffrey Arnold is leading ACRM Corp’s sales and marketing division. is a high tech medical device company producing anatomically correct 3D medical reference models allowing surgeons to enhance the accuracy of pre-surgical planning & reduce surgical costs. With practical applications in all areas of orthopaedic medicine, as well as neurosurgical applications, forensic medicine, and even veterinary usage, is poised for solid growth in the orthopaedic medical device industry.