Author(s): Owen BD, Christensen GE, Reinhardt JM, Ryken TC
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility and accuracy of a drill template for the placement of a cervical pedicle screw in a single vertebral level. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A volumetric CT scan was performed on a cadaver cervical spine. Using computer software, a drill template with a predefined trajectory was constructed that was designed to match the posterior surface of the right side of the fifth cervical vertebra. A physical template was created from the computer model using a rapid prototyping machine. The drill template was used to guide drilling of a pilot hole, and a CT scan was performed to assess the accuracy of this hole. A 3.5-mm diameter pedicle screw was placed in the pilot hole. The spine was then dissected to separate the vertebrae and the trajectory of the screw was visually inspected. RESULTS: The feasibility of this patient-specific rapid prototyping technique was demonstrated. Imaging and visual inspection confirmed accurate placement of the pilot hole and cervical pedicle screw without cortical violation. CONCLUSIONS: The potential use of drill templates to place cervical pedicle screws is promising. Our initial methodology appears to provide an accurate technique and trajectory for pedicle screw placement in the cervical spine.
This article was published in Comput Aided Surg
and referenced in Journal of Spine