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Three-dimensional Printing Technology and Role for Custom Implants in Orthopedic Oncology

Gao, Terry, BS*; Rivlin, Michael, MD; Abraham, John A., MD

doi: 10.1097/BTO.0000000000000292

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an evolving technology that involves the sequential application of material to a flat surface to gradually build structures from the base up. This technique of “additive manufacturing” has a broad range of applications in the medical field and has significant potential to improve current clinical practice. Orthopedic surgery is at the forefront of these advancements and has incorporated the use of this technology in various ways. 3D-printed surgical applications include surgical planning, custom manufacturing of cutting guides and jigs, patient-matched implants, and 3D-printed biotechnology. This article introduces the current uses of 3D printing technology in orthopedic oncology, as well as the future potential for biological applications.

*Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Division of Hand and Microvascular Surgery, Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

J.A.A. has received Consulting Income from Zimmer Biomet, research support for clinical trial from Novartis, research support for clinical trial from Janssen Pharmaceuticals. M.R. has ownership in Dimension Orthotics, LLC. T.G. declares that there is nothing to disclose.

For reprint requests, or additional information and guidance on the techniques described in the article, please contact John A. Abraham, MD, at or by mail at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, 925 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107. You may inquire whether the author(s) will agree to phone conferences and/or visits regarding these techniques.

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