Accuracy assessment of pedicle screw insertion with patient specific 3D‑printed guides through superimpose CT-analysis in thoracolumbar spinal deformity surgery

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Purpose: In order to avoid pedicle screw misplacement in posterior spinal deformity surgery, patient specific 3D‑printed guides can be used. An accuracy assessment of pedicle screw insertion can be obtained by superimposing CT-scan images from a preoperative plan over those of the postoperative result. The aim of this study is to report on the accuracy of drill guide assisted pedicle screw placement in thoracolumbar spinal deformity surgery by means of a superimpose CT-analysis. Methods: Concomitant with the clinical introduction of a new technique for drill guide assisted pedicle screw placement, the accuracy of pedicle screw insertion was analyzed in the first patients treated with this technique by using superimpose CT-analysis. Deviation from the planned ideal intrapedicular screw trajectory was classified according to the Gertzbein scale. Results: Superimpose CT-analysis of 99 pedicle screws in 5 patients was performed. The mean linear deviation was 0.92 mm, the mean angular deviation was 2.92° with respect to the preoperatively planned pedicle screw trajectories. According to the Gertzbein scale, 100% of screws were found to be positioned within the “safe zone”. Conclusion: The evaluated patient specific 3D-printed guide technology was demonstrated to constitute a safe and accurate tool for precise pedicle screw insertion in spinal deformity surgeries. Superimpose CT-analysis showed a 100% accuracy of pedicle screw placement without any violation of the pedicle wall or other relevant structures. We recommend a superimpose CT-analysis for the first consecutive patients when introducing new technologies into daily clinical practice, such as intraoperative imaging, navigation or robotics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3216-3224
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number11
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • 3D-printed guides
  • Pedicle screws
  • Spinal deformity surgery
  • Superimpose CT-analysis

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