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Bitschi, David; Fürmetz, Julian; Gilbert, Fabian; Jörgens, Maximilian; Watrinet, Julius; Pätzold, Robert; Lang, Clemens; Neidlein, Claas; Böcker, Wolfgang; Bormann, Markus ORCID: 0000-0001-7024-3620 (2023): Preoperative Mixed-Reality Visualization of Complex Tibial Plateau Fractures and Its Benefit Compared to CT and 3D Printing. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 12 (5): 1785. ISSN 2077-0383

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Background: Various studies have shown the benefit of three-dimensional (3D) computed tomography (CT) reconstruction and especially 3D printing in the treatment of tibial plateau fractures (TPFs). This study aimed to investigate whether mixed-reality visualization (MRV) using mixed-reality glasses can provide a benefit for CT and/or 3D printing in planning treatment strategies for complex TPFs. Methods: Three complex TPFs were selected for the study and processed for 3D imaging. Subsequently, the fractures were presented to specialists in trauma surgery using CT (including 3D CT reconstruction), MRV (hardware: Microsoft HoloLens 2; software: mediCAD MIXED REALITY) and 3D prints. A standardized questionnaire on fracture morphology and treatment strategy was completed after each imaging session. Results: 23 surgeons from 7 hospitals were interviewed. A total of 69.6% (n = 16) of those had treated at least 50 TPFs. A change in fracture classification according to Schatzker was recorded in 7.1% of the cases and in 78.6% an adjustment of the ten-segment classification was observed after MRV. In addition, the intended patient positioning changed in 16.1% of the cases, the surgical approach in 33.9% and osteosynthesis in 39.3%. A total of 82.1% of the participants rated MRV as beneficial compared to CT regarding fracture morphology and treatment planning. An additional benefit of 3D printing was reported in 57.1% of the cases (five-point Likert scale).
Conclusions: Preoperative MRV of complex TPFs leads to improved fracture understanding, better treatment strategies and a higher detection rate of fractures in posterior segments, and it thus has the potential to improve patient care and outcomes.

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