Three-Dimensional Printed Polymethylmethacrylate Casting Molds for Posterior Fossa Reconstruction in the Surgical Treatment of Chiari I Malformation: Technical Note and Illustrative Cases

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OBJECTIVE: To describe a new method for cranial reconstruction after posterior fossa craniectomy in the surgical treatment of Chiari 1 malformation through a technical note and presentation of 3 illustrative cases.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: A virtual surgical planning workflow was established for planning posterior fossa decompression, designing the suboccipital reconstruction, and manufacturing a 3D-printed polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) casting mold. The casting accuracy was assessed by conducting a phantom experiment, and clinical data were provided by means of 3 illustrative cases.

RESULTS: The accuracy of implant fabrication was found to be excellent, particularly when PMMA is introduced into the mold in a malleable state. In all 3 clinical cases, the implants were fabricated and positioned with success. Postoperative analysis revealed that accurate placement was achieved, with only minor deviation from the preoperative plan.

CONCLUSIONS: 3D virtual surgical planning provides feasible tools for the planning of posterior fossa decompression and intraoperative fabrication of accurate patient-specific suboccipital cranioplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-156
Number of pages9
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Early online date29-May-2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2019


  • 3D printing
  • 3D surgery
  • Chiari malformation type 1
  • Cranioplasty
  • Template
  • Virtual surgical planning

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