Design and Production of an Articulating Needle Guide for Ultrasound-Guided Needle Block Manufactured With a Three-Dimensional Printer: Technical Communication

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Abstract

Needle guides may allow the practitioner to align the needle with the probe when ultrasound-guided nerve block is performed. The author’s goal was to design and fabricate an inexpensive ($1.90), disposable, needle guide that could articulate over a range from 85 degrees to 0 degrees with a three-dimension printer. Three-dimensional representations of an L50, L25, and C 60 ultrasound probe (Sono Site, Bothell, WA) were created using a laser scanner. Computer-aided design software (Solid Works, Waltham, MA) was used to design a needle bracket and needle guide to attach to these probes. A three-dimensional printer was used to fabricate the needle bracket and guide with acrylonitrile polybutadiene polystyrene. An echogenic needle was held in plane with the needle guide. The author performed a supraclavicular block in a morbidly obese patient. The needle was easily visualized. Similar guides that are commercially available cost as much as $400. A knowledge of computer-aided design is necessary for this work.

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