International Orthopaedics

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 425–431 | Cite as

Conventional plate fixation method versus pre-operative virtual simulation and three-dimensional printing-assisted contoured plate fixation method in the treatment of anterior pelvic ring fracture

  • Chun-Chi Hung
  • Yuan-Ta Li
  • Yu-Ching Chou
  • Jia-En Chen
  • Chia-Chun Wu
  • Hsain-Chung Shen
  • Tsu-Te YehEmail author
Original Paper



Treating pelvic fractures remains a challenging task for orthopaedic surgeons. We aimed to evaluate the feasibility, accuracy, and effectiveness of three-dimensional (3D) printing technology and computer-assisted virtual surgery for pre-operative planning in anterior ring fractures of the pelvis. We hypothesized that using 3D printing models would reduce operation time and significantly improve the surgical outcomes of pelvic fracture repair.


We retrospectively reviewed the records of 30 patients with pelvic fractures treated by anterior pelvic fixation with locking plates (14 patients, conventional locking plate fixation; 16 patients, pre-operative virtual simulation with 3D, printing-assisted, pre-contoured, locking plate fixation). We compared operative time, instrumentation time, blood loss, and post-surgical residual displacements, as evaluated on X-ray films, among groups. Statistical analyses evaluated significant differences between the groups for each of these variables.


The patients treated with the virtual simulation and 3D printing-assisted technique had significantly shorter internal fixation times, shorter surgery duration, and less blood loss (− 57 minutes, − 70 minutes, and − 274 ml, respectively; P < 0.05) than patients in the conventional surgery group. However, the post-operative radiological result was similar between groups (P > 0.05). The complication rate was less in the 3D printing group (1/16 patients) than in the conventional surgery group (3/14 patients).


The 3D simulation and printing technique is an effective and reliable method for treating anterior pelvic ring fractures. With precise pre-operative planning and accurate execution of the procedures, this time-saving approach can provide a more personalized treatment plan, allowing for a safer orthopaedic surgery.


Pre-operative virtual simulation Three-dimensional printing Pelvic fracture Plate fixation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the National Defense Medical Center Institutional Review Board. All procedures were in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chun-Chi Hung
    • 1
  • Yuan-Ta Li
    • 1
  • Yu-Ching Chou
    • 2
  • Jia-En Chen
    • 3
  • Chia-Chun Wu
    • 1
  • Hsain-Chung Shen
    • 1
  • Tsu-Te Yeh
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryTri-Service General Hospital and National Defense Medical CenterTaipeiRepublic of China
  2. 2.School of Public Health, National Defense Medical CenterTaipeiRepublic of China
  3. 3.National Defense Medical CenterGraduate Institute of Aerospace and Undersea MedicineTaipeiRepublic of China

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