Reconstruction of a non-united scaphoid with a humpback deformity involves resection of the non-union followed by bone grafting and fixation of the fragments. Intraoperative control of the reconstruction is difficult owing to the complex three-dimensional shape of the scaphoid and the other carpal bones overlying the scaphoid on lateral radiographs. We developed a titanium template that fits exactly to the surfaces of the proximal and distal scaphoid poles to define their position relative to each other after resection of the non-union. The templates were designed on three-dimensional computed tomography reconstructions and manufactured using selective laser melting technology. Ten conserved human wrists were used to simulate the reconstruction. The achieved precision measured as the deviation of the surface of the reconstructed scaphoid from its virtual counterpart was good in five cases (maximal difference 1.5 mm), moderate in one case (maximal difference 3 mm) and inadequate in four cases (difference more than 3 mm). The main problems were attributed to the template design and can be avoided by improved pre-operative planning, as shown in a clinical case.
Keywords: Three-dimensional; additive manufacturing; non-union; rapid prototyping; reconstruction; scaphoid.
© The Author(s) 2014.