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How Three-Dimensional Models Are Game Changers in The Treatment Of Scoliosis and Kyphosis

Posted Jan 07 2011 8:05am

Scoliosis is a painful debilitating condition of the spine that affects more than 20 million people in the United States. Treatment of scoliosis of the spine ranges from observation, to physical therapy, to bracing and in the most advanced cases, anterior or posterior spinal fusion surgery. Surgery is recommended if the progression of the disease is more than 40-50 degrees. Spinal fusion is the most common type of scoliosis surgery performed. This surgical treatment for scoliosis involves placing grafted bone in the vertebral column so that the column becomes fused. Planning for this surgery involved the surgeon reviewing X-rays to determine a plan of care.

Imagine if this plan of care could be developed using an anatomical model of your precise spine, with the accurate curve. Imagine if a surgical professional was able to practice their technique on this 3-D model and have the advantage of a test run prior to ever cutting your skin. This technology is no longer a dream it is real. Today surgical professionals have the ability to use Anatomically Correct Reference Models (ACRM) in their planning process.

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These models not only increase the efficiency of surgeries they can actually decrease the surgery time. A decrease in surgical time means a savings to you as the patient. The cost of the ACRM will more than pay for itself with the decrease in surgery time and operating expenses. An ACRM typically averages between $500 to $1000. In fact the use of a three-dimensional model has been shown to reduce surgery time by an average of 7-10%. With the cost of orthopaedic surgeries (including the hospital, anesthesiologist, orthopaedic surgical professional, nursing staff and equipment) averaging $21,000 per hour with an average surgery time of 7-10 hours, the patient is looking at a net savings in excess of $10,000. In addition, the shorter surgery time means a quicker recovery for the patient and a decrease in the mortality rates associated with these surgeries.

Scoliosis treatment is complicated and expensive. When looking at the ranges of therapy if you find yourself leaning toward a surgical intervention for your scoliosis wouldn’t you want your surgeon to have every available technology in planning your care? It makes sense to give our physicians every advance possible. In our quest to provide better healthcare, we need better methodology.

The use of anatomical correct reference models is great improvement in the care and management of scoliosis.

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ACRM Corp is pioneering the development and sales of patient specific, Anatomically Correct, Three-Dimensiona Reference Models , from CT and MRI scans to assist with cranial or spine surgeries . Visit their website ( to learn more about how these three-dimensional models can help your orthopaedic surgeon in their pre-surgical planning.

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