Essay On Cranioplasty

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Cranioplasty is the surgical repair of acquired or congenital defects of cranium.[1] Archeological evidences suggest that in prehistorical era , cranial defect reconstruction was done with gold, silver and shells. Later it was followed by the use of bone grafts, metal and plastics.[2,3]Apart from metals like titanium, Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is the latest material being used for cranioplasty. It was first utilized in 1940 and can be moulded intraoperatively by hands or using 3D printed models into the shape of a cranial defect.[4]

Prefabricated Titanium implants have been successfully solving this purpose of cranioplasty ,but are quite expensive especially in developing countries. In modern era, for getting desired shape, size and better cosmetic results, the use of three-dimensional (3D)
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Alloplastic material is required when autogenous bone is not available as in calvarial tumour resections, bone infections or bone discarded during craniectomies. Now a days PMMA and titanium are most widely used alloplastic materials. Preparation of implants can be done in two ways - by hands and by computer generated 3D models [11,12]. Hand fabrication is cheaper and less time consuming technique but desired outcome with respect to shape and size is difficult. The 3D printing technology helps us to prepare prefabricated implants or models to mould grafts intraoperatively. This method has become immensely popular as it does not require original bone flap and has produced superior fitting and cosmetic results[13].
3D printing technology is an evolving branch and its clinical application is growing rapidly. The convenience and affordability of this technology have spurred its adoption in variety of medical fields, especially in planning complex craniofacial reconstructions [14,15].

The procedure for the fabrication of medical models (templates) consists of multiple

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