Reconstruction of thoracic spine using a personalized 3D-printed vertebral body in adolescent with T9 primary bone tumor

Wen Jie Choy, Ralph J. Mobbs*, Ben Wilcox, Steven Phan, Kevin Phan, Chester E. Sutterlin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Neurosurgery and spine surgery have the potential to benefit from the use of 3-dimensional printing (3DP) technology due to complex anatomic considerations and the delicate nature of surrounding structures. We report a procedure that uses a 3D-printed titanium T9 vertebral body implant post T9 vertebrectomy for a primary bone tumor. 

Case Description: A 14-year-old female presented with progressive kyphoscoliosis and a pathologic fracture of the T9 vertebra with sagittal and coronal deformity due to a destructive primary bone tumor. Surgical resection and reconstruction was performed in combination with a 3D-printed, patient-specific implant. Custom design features included porous titanium end plates, corrective angulation of the implant to restore sagittal balance, and pedicle screw holes in the 3D implant to assist with insertion of the device. In addition, attachment of the anterior column construct to the posterior pedicle screw construct was possible due to the customized features of the patient-specific implant. 

Conclusions: An advantage of 3DP is the ability to manufacture patient-specific implants, as in the current case example. Additionally, the use of 3DP has been able to reduce operative time significantly. Surgical procedures can be preplanned using 3DP patient-specific models. Surgeons can train before performing complex procedures, which enhances their presurgical planning in order to maximize patient outcomes. When considering implants and prostheses, the use of 3DP allows a superior anatomic fit for the patient, with the potential to improve restoration of anatomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032.e13-1032.e17
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D-printed spine implant
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Custom device
  • Patient-specific implant
  • Primary bone tumor
  • Spine surgery


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