Virtual Incision Pattern Planning using Three-Dimensional Images for Optimization of Syndactyly Surgery

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Abstract

Summary:

Syndactyly is a congenital condition characterized by fusion of the fingers. If not treated correctly during infancy, syndactyly may hinder the normal development of hand function. Many surgical techniques have been developed, with the main goal to create a functional hand with the smallest number of operative corrections. Therefore, exact preoperative planning of the reconstructive procedure is essential. An imaging method commonly used for preoperative planning is 3-dimensional (3D) surface imaging. The goal of this study was to implement the use of this technique in hand surgery, by designing a virtual planning tool for a desyndactylization procedure based on 3D hand images. A 3D image of a silicon syndactyly model was made on which the incision pattern was virtually designed. A surgical template of this pattern was printed, placed onto the silicon model and delineated. The accuracy of the transfer from the virtual delineation toward the real delineation was calculated, resulting in a mean difference of 0.82 mm. This first step indicates that by using 3D images, a virtual incision pattern can be created and transferred back onto the patient successfully in an easy and accurate way by using a template. Thereafter, 3D hand images of 3 syndactyly patients were made, and individual virtual incision patterns were created. Each pattern was transferred onto the patient by using a 3D printed template. The resulting incision pattern needed minor modifications by the surgeon before the surgery was performed. Further research and validation are necessary to develop the virtual planning of desyndactylization procedures.

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