Case 1: Kyphoscoliosis, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool

Specialist spine surgeons at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool used medical 3D Printing in preparation for a life-changing surgery.

The patient in question was an eight-year-old from Wales with kyphoscoliosis, a complex congenital spinal problem. The surgeons modelled and printed her spine in 3D, giving them a much better oversight for the procedure.

A life-size 3D-printed spine model

To visualize the complex kyphoscoliosis surgery, they approached 3D Printing bureau 3D LifePrints and medical 3D Printing expert Materialise to order a 3D-printed model of the spine, based on a CT scan of the young patient. The CT scan data was then converted into a 3D-printable format and a life-size, plastic replica of the patient’s spine was created.

Top surgeons of Alder Hey Jai Trivedi, Neil Davidson and Colin Bruce, performed the procedure. Alder Hey is among the first children’s hospitals in the UK that is applying this technology. And it isn’t only the hospital’s orthopaedic department that uses medical 3D Printing, but also the cardiac, craniofacial and radiology teams have started using the technology for training and communication between doctors and patients.