Kerala's first successful spine surgery using a 3D model

Kerala's first successful spine surgery using a 3D model

A 19-year-old B.Com student from Ochira, Kollam has become the first person in the state to undergo complex spine surgery using 3-D printing technology. The pioneering surgery was performed by a medical team headed by Dr. Krishnakumar, Consultant and Head of Spine Surgery division at VPS Lakeshore Hospital.

The patient was suffering from Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Tarda, a rare genetic disease that affects approximately one person per 2, 00,000 population. “Due to his genetic condition, the patient had abnormal spinal bone growth and structure leading to incomplete formation of peg like bone in the second cervical vertebral bone, which corresponds to the upper part of the neck” said Dr. Krishnakumar.

“This condition caused dislocation of the neck bones (Atlanto axial Instability) causing spinal cord compression and difficulty in walking. The complex abnormal shapes of the bones and blood vessels of the upper spine warranted a 3-D printed spine model for planning the complex surgery”, he added.

Using the patient’s CT- scan and special software, exact replica of his spine with blood vessels was made by using 3-D printing technology, which took 32 hours for printing. The Atlanto Axial Instability was reduced and fixed by C1 –C2 transarticular screws. “The 3-D printing technology will greatly benefit in understanding complex abnormal anatomy and surgical planning resulting in better patient care” added Dr. Krishnakumar. The medical team for the surgery also included Dr. Mallie Abraham and Dr. Jaya Susan Jacob.

3D printed model of the spine


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