A young patient with a painful deformity in his clavicle, which was causing him both cosmetic and functional issues, consulted Dr. Van Tongel in 2014. Prof. dr. Alexander Van Tongel is a Senior Lecturer in Orthopedics and Team Leader at the Department of Human Structure and Repair at the University of Ghent, Belgium.
In this case, the comparison showed a shortened clavicle with an excess of callus at the sterno-clavicular joint. This deformity caused a cosmetic issue as well as pain. Based on these complaints, Dr. Van Tongel (University Hospital Ghent, Belgium) opted for a corrective osteotomy.
The next step in the preoperative planning process involves the simulation of one or more osteotomies and fragment reductions by the clinical engineers to discuss an optimized patient-specific outcome with the surgeon. In this case, Dr. Van Tongel decided to remove a wedge of excess bone and reduce the lateral fragment.
These types of clavicle procedures commonly use off-the-shelf plates, but the callus on this patient’s clavicle added contour to the bone and standard plates would not sit flat. Fortunately, creating a 3D plan in the virtual environment enabled Materialise clinical engineers to simulate the required plate bending and subsequent screw trajectories to ensure proper fixation. Once the surgical plan was discussed with and approved by the surgeon, the clinical engineers designed patient-specific surgical guides.