To evaluate the utility of 3-D printed models of acetabular fractures as a teaching and assessment tool compared to conventional lecture based teaching among orthopaedic trainees.
This was randomised prospective study conducted in a tertiary hospital setting which was consisted of 16 Orthopaedic residents. Ten different cases of acetabular fracture patterns were identified and printed as 3-D models. Baseline knowledge of acetabular fracture classification and surgical approach was determined by an x-ray based pre-test. Trainees were then randomly assigned into two groups. Group I received only lectures. Group II were additionally provided with 3-D printed models during the lecture. Participants then received a post-test and were assessed for comprehension and retention of teaching.
Sixteen trainees participated in the trial. Both Group 1 and Group 2 improved post teaching with mean score of 2.5 and 1.9 to 4.4 and 6 out of 10 respectively. Post test score for fracture classification and surgical approach were significantly higher for 3-D model group (p<0.05). Trainees felt physical characteristics of the 3-D models were good representation of acetabular fracture configuration, and should be used routinely for teaching and surgical planning.
3-D printed model of real clinical cases have significant educational impact compared to lecture based learning in improving young trainees understanding of complex acetabular fractures.