Three-dimensional technologies in presurgical planning of bone surgeries: current evidence and future perspectives

Yotam Portnoy, Jonathan Koren, Amal Khoury, Shai Factor, Solomon Dadia, Yuval Ran, Amit Benady

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The recent development of three-dimensional (3D) technologies introduces a novel set of opportunities to the medical field in general, and specifically to surgery. The preoperative phase has proven to be a critical factor in surgical success. Utilization of 3D technologies has the potential to improve preoperative planning and overall surgical outcomes. In this narrative review article, the authors describe existing clinical data pertaining to the current use of 3D printing, virtual reality, and augmented reality in the preoperative phase of bone surgery. METHODS: The methodology included keyword-based literature search in PubMed and Google Scholar for original articles published between 2014 and 2022. After excluding studies performed in nonbone surgery disciplines, data from 61 studies of five different surgical disciplines were processed to be included in this narrative review. RESULTS: Among the mentioned technologies, 3D printing is currently the most advanced in terms of clinical use, predominantly creating anatomical models and patient-specific instruments that provide high-quality operative preparation. Virtual reality allows to set a surgical plan and to further simulate the procedure via a 2D screen or head mounted display. Augmented reality is found to be useful for surgical simulation upon 3D printed anatomical models or virtual phantoms. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, 3D technologies are gradually becoming an integral part of a surgeon's preoperative toolbox, allowing for increased surgical accuracy and reduction of operation time, mainly in complex and unique surgical cases. This may eventually lead to improved surgical outcomes, thereby optimizing the personalized surgical approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


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