Parisa Azimi, Taravat Yazdanian, Edward C. Benzel, Ali Azimi, Ali Montazeri

September 2020, pp 1 - 13 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06601-6

First Online: 16 September 2020

3D-printed navigation template in cervical spine fusion: a systematic review and meta-analysis


To explore the effectiveness and advantage of three-dimensional (3D)-printed navigation templates (3DPN-template) assisted in cervical spine fusion (CSF) surgery as compared to conventional surgery.


An electronic literature search in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane was conducted for studies of 3DPN-templates in CSF up to May 2020. Outcome measures as the accuracy rate, operation time, intra-operative blood loss, and fluoroscopy used, associated with CSF were extracted. Mean difference based on changes was quantified using Hedges’ g.


From 4414 potentially relevant studies, 61 full-text publications were screened. Thirteen studies comprising 330 cases with 1323 screw placements were eligible for inclusion. For template group, pooled estimates were as follows: 97.3% accuracy rate for screw placement, 144.7 min for operating time, 273.6 ml for blood loss, and 3.2 min for fluoroscopic times. A significantly positive difference was observed between the template group compared to control group in terms of accuracy rate of screw placement (Z = 5.3), operation time (Z = 2.41), intra-operative blood loss (Z = 2.64), and fluoroscopic times (Z = 3.64) (all, P value < 0.0001). Risk of bias for studies under review was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale (NOS), and 11 studies were found as having high quality. Overall, funnel plot and Begg’s test did not indicate obvious publication bias.


The 3D-printed navigation template in the cervical surgery can improve accuracy of pedicle screw placement and consequently improve outcomes. In future, multi-center efforts are needed to validate the relationships found in this review.

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