Journal of Digital Imaging

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 816–826 | Cite as

CT-Based 3D Printing of the Glenoid Prior to Shoulder Arthroplasty: Bony Morphology and Model Evaluation

  • Kenneth C. WangEmail author
  • Anja Jones
  • Shivkumar Kambhampati
  • Mohit N. Gilotra
  • Peter C. Liacouras
  • Satre Stuelke
  • Brian Shiu
  • Natalie Leong
  • S. Ashfaq Hasan
  • Eliot L. Siegel


To demonstrate the 3D printed appearance of glenoid morphologies relevant to shoulder replacement surgery and to evaluate the benefits of printed models of the glenoid with regard to surgical planning. A retrospective review of patients referred for shoulder CT was performed, leading to a cohort of nine patients without arthroplasty hardware and exhibiting glenoid changes relevant to shoulder arthroplasty planning. Thin slice CT images were used to create both humerus-subtracted volume renderings of the glenoid, as well as 3D surface models of the glenoid, and 11 printed models were created. Volume renderings, surface models, and printed models were reviewed by a musculoskeletal radiologist for accuracy. Four fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons specializing in shoulder surgery reviewed each case individually as follows: First, the source CT images were reviewed, and a score for the clarity of the bony morphologies relevant to shoulder arthroplasty surgery was given. The volume rendering was reviewed, and the clarity was again scored. Finally, the printed model was reviewed, and the clarity again scored. Each printed model was also scored for morphologic complexity, expected usefulness of the printed model, and physical properties of the model. Mann–Whitney–Wilcoxon signed rank tests of the clarity scores were calculated, and the Spearman’s ρ correlation coefficient between complexity and usefulness scores was computed. Printed models demonstrated a range of glenoid bony changes including osteophytes, glenoid bone loss, retroversion, and biconcavity. Surgeons rated the glenoid morphology as more clear after review of humerus-subtracted volume rendering, compared with review of the source CT images (p = 0.00903). Clarity was also better with 3D printed models compared to CT (p = 0.00903) and better with 3D printed models compared to humerus-subtracted volume rendering (p = 0. 00879). The expected usefulness of printed models demonstrated a positive correlation with morphologic complexity, with Spearman’s ρ 0.73 (p = 0.0108). 3D printing of the glenoid based on pre-operative CT provides a physical representation of patient anatomy. Printed models enabled shoulder surgeons to appreciate glenoid bony morphology more clearly compared to review of CT images or humerus-subtracted volume renderings. These models were more useful as glenoid complexity increased.


3D printing Shoulder arthroplasty Surgical planning Computed tomography Glenoid morphology 



The authors acknowledge 3D Systems for providing software and 3D printing services used in this research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

3D Systems provided access to the DICOM-to-Print software and also printed one model presented in this work. The authors retained full control of all aspects of the study. One author reports grant funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, for other work relating to shoulder disorders. Another author reports grant funding from the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining for other work relating to 3D printing.


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Copyright information

© Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Anja Jones
    • 3
  • Shivkumar Kambhampati
    • 4
  • Mohit N. Gilotra
    • 1
    • 5
  • Peter C. Liacouras
    • 6
  • Satre Stuelke
    • 7
  • Brian Shiu
    • 5
  • Natalie Leong
    • 1
    • 5
  • S. Ashfaq Hasan
    • 1
    • 5
  • Eliot L. Siegel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Baltimore VA Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear MedicineUniversity of Maryland, School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineRutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Southeast RadiologyChesterUSA
  5. 5.Department of OrthopaedicsUniversity of Maryland, School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  6. 6.3D Medical Applications Center, Department of Radiology, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Radiology and Radiological Services & Naval Postgraduate Dental SchoolUniform Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA
  7. 7.Guthrie ClinicSayreUSA

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