Mimics Innovation Awards Winner: Ferran Fillat-Gomà

2 min read

3D-Printed Patient-Specific Instrumentation Is an Accurate Tool to Reproduce Femoral Bone Tunnels in Multiple-Ligament Knee Injuries 

What was the dream?

To enhance surgical precision and outcomes in multiple-ligament knee reconstruction techniques by providing surgeons with patient-specific instrumentation (PSI) to produce accurate reproductions of bone tunnels. 

What was the challenge?

When patients undergo multi-ligament knee reconstructions, several bone tunnels need to be created in the distal femur. However, harmful complications can arise if these tunnels converge or are made too short, which can potentially lead to damage to fixation devices, compromised graft attachment, or even femoral fractures.  

Traditionally, surgeons had to rely on their experience, which meant that bone tunnels were often not created accurately, leading to variations in tunnel placement. This proved to be a huge obstacle in terms of achieving optimal surgical results. 

To overcome this issue, Dr. Fillat-Gomà began to develop 3D-printed PSI templates that could be produced into surgical guides specifically for the construction of femoral bone tunnels. To validate the accuracy of these guides, they underwent testing on cadaveric knees. 

What are the results?

Dr. Fillat-Gomà and the 3D Surgical Planning Lab at Taulí Research Group in Spain succeeded in creating surgical guides that fit properly on the corresponding anatomical areas of the cadaveric knees, with no intrajoint intrusion or convergences. Testing through postoperative CT scans showed that these templates had good accuracy and reliability in both the direction and entry points of the bone tunnels. Therefore, Dr. Fillat-Gomà could conclude that using 3D-printed surgical guides for femoral bone tunnel drilling in multi-ligament knee reconstructions may be a promising tool for use in clinical practice. 

Why this research won

Surgical guides are proving to be particularly useful in soft-tissue procedures of the knee joint. However, these guides require a high level of precision and personalization to avoid complications and improve surgical outcomes. Dr. Fillat-Gomà’s use of the Mimics Innovation Suite to pre-plan and position the orientation of femoral bone tunnels is what enabled this high level of personalization and accuracy, as each plan could be meticulously adapted to the unique anatomy of the cadaveric knees.  

Overall, the evidence presented in this study offers a promising foundation for refining the precision of femoral bone tunnel placement, ultimately improving the results of multiple-ligament knee reconstructions. 


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Ferran Fillat-Gomà, MD PhD

Ferran Fillat Gomà is a doctor in orthopaedic surgery and traumatology, member of the Shoulder and Elbow Unit at Parc Taulí Hospital. His motivation is the improvement of clinical practice through the use of 3D technologies.  

The 3D Surgical Planning Lab at Taulí Research Group in Spain is a cutting-edge facility dedicated to advancing the field of medical and surgical planning through the integration of three-dimensional (3D) technologies. The lab serves as a hub for research, innovation, and development in the realm of surgical procedures, with a strong focus on leveraging 3D visualization, modeling, and planning techniques to enhance patient outcomes.  This work is part of Núria Fernández Poch's doctoral thesis, which is the result of collaboration between the 3D Surgical Planning Lab led by Ferran Fillat-Gomà and the Orthopaedic Surgery Research Group led by Xavier Pelfort. 

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