New technology for manufacturing surgical guides

Professor Milan Brandt is investigating using advanced manufacturing to provide a safer, more accurate and faster technique in treating scoliosis through orthopaedic surgery.

Patients with scoliosis have rotated and mal-developed vertebral components.

Surgeons use pedicle screws to help correct these problems, but placing the screws can require long operations, and can also endanger the patient's spinal cord.

The approach has to be worked out specifically for each patient and relies heavily on the judgement of the surgeon.

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In collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons from the Royal Children’s Hospital, Professor Brandt, from the School of Engineering, is looking at the use of additive technology to provide customised, patient-specific thoracic pedicle screw guides.

This has the potential to improve the accuracy of pedicle screw placement, reducing risk to the spinal cord and requiring less time under anaesthetic for the patient.

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