Background: Reconstructing bone structures and stabilizing adjacent joints are clinical challenges in treating talar necrosis and collapse (TNC). 3D printing technology has been demonstrated to improve the accuracy of talar replacement. This study aimed to evaluate anatomical talar replacement and the clinical results.
Methods: Nine patients with TNC were enrolled between 2016 and 2020. The prosthetic shape and size were designed by CT post-processing and mirror symmetry technology. The clinical outcomes included radiographic parameters of the forefoot, hindfoot, and ankle alignment, ankle activity, recurrent pain, and peri-operative complications.
Results: After a mean follow-up of 23.17 ± 6.65 months, degenerative arthritis and prosthetic dislocation and other complications were not observed on plain radiographs. Each 3D-printed talar prosthesis was placed in the original anatomical position. The parameters which have significant changes pre-operative and post-operative are as follows: talar height, 27.59 ± 5.99 mm and 34.56 ± 3.54 mm (95% CI - 13.05 to - 0.87, t = 2.94, P = 0.032) and Meary's angle, 11.73 ± 4.79° and 4.45 ± 1.82° (95% CI 1.29~22.44, t = 2.89, P = 0.034). The AOFAS hindfoot score improved from 26.33 ± 6.62 to 79.67 ± 3.14 at the final follow-up (95% CI 43.36~63.30, t = 13.75, P = 0.000). The VAS score decreased from 6.33 ± 1.03 to 0.83 ± 0.75 (95% CI 4.40~6.60, t = 12.84, P = 0.000). The post-operative satisfaction scores regarding pain relief, activities of daily living, and return to recreational activities were good to excellent, and the change of activity range was statistically significant.
Conclusions: The 3D printing patient-specific total talar prostheses allowed anatomical reconstruction in TNC. This novel treatment with 3D-printed prostheses could serve as a reliable patient-specific alternative in TNC.
Keywords: 3D printing technology; Artificial talus; Talus necrosis.