The use of 3D-printed titanium mesh tray in treating complex comminuted mandibular fractures: A case report

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Abstract

Rationale:

Precise bony reduction and reconstruction of optimal contour in treating comminuted mandibular fractures is very difficult using traditional techniques and devices. The aim of this report is to introduce our experiences in using virtual surgery and three-dimensional (3D) printing technique in treating this clinical challenge.

Patient concerns:

A 26-year-old man presented with severe trauma in the maxillofacial area due to fall from height.

Diagnosis:

Computed tomography images revealed middle face fractures and comminuted mandibular fracture including bilateral condyles.

Interventions and outcomes:

The computed tomography data was used to construct the 3D cranio-maxillofacial models; then the displaced bone fragments were virtually reduced. On the basis of the finalized model, a customized titanium mesh tray was designed and fabricated using selective laser melting technology. During the surgery, a submandibular approach was adopted to repair the mandibular fracture. The reduction and fixation were performed according to preoperative plan, the bone defects in the mental area were reconstructed with iliac bone graft. The 3D-printed mesh tray served as an intraoperative template and carrier of bone graft. The healing process was uneventful, and the patient was satisfied with the mandible contour.

Lessons:

Virtual surgical planning combined with 3D printing technology enables surgeon to visualize the reduction process preoperatively and guide intraoperative reduction, making the reduction less time consuming and more precise. 3D-printed titanium mesh tray can provide more satisfactory esthetic outcomes in treating complex comminuted mandibular fractures.

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