Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: We evaluated the feasibility of producing splints with 3D printer technology to prevent contractures in burned children in our clinical prospective study. Materials and methods: After approvals, children with burns greater than 2nd degree were included in the study. Age, sex, burn percentages, printing time, filament types, number of filament trials, splint suitability, patient and doctor comments, preclinical trials' significances and financial impact were evaluated statistically. Results: Seventy-six trials were conducted on 18 patients. Fourteen of the patients were male and 4 are female. Average ages of boys and girls were 5 and 3, respectively. Burn percentage was 36.9 ± 13. Polylactic acid (PLAFlex), polyurethane (PolyFlex), semiflexible copolyester (nGenFlex), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) were the main filaments that were used in the study. Printing time differed from 4 to 29 h according to body regions. Splints were suitable for 81.25% in upper extremity, for 66.7% in lower extremity, and for 100% in mouth. Burn percentage was significantly correlated with total number of filament (p = 0.049). Other statistical evaluations were insignificant. Conclusion: The 3D printer seems to be useful in children with burns. However, difficulties caused by some reasons like production must be overcome. By increasing clinical experience, this emerging custom-made technology may become standard, and documented problems can be solved.


Three dimension, printing, splint, children, burns, contracture

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