Use of Three-dimensional Printed Carpal Bones for Various Carpal Pathologies: A Systematic Review

Ishith Seth1, *, Gabriella Bulloch2, Nimish Seth4, Quentin Fogg2, David J. Hunter-Smith3, Warren M. Rozen3
1 Faculty of Science, Medicine, and Health, Monash University, Victoria 3004, Australia
2 Faculty of Science, Medicine, and Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
3 Peninsula Clinical School, Central Clinical School at Monash University, The Alfred Centre, 99 Commercial Rd, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia
4 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Alfred Health, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 749
Abstract HTML Views: 576
PDF Downloads: 567
ePub Downloads: 531
Total Views/Downloads: 2423
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 399
Abstract HTML Views: 313
PDF Downloads: 283
ePub Downloads: 205
Total Views/Downloads: 1200

Creative Commons License
© 2023 Seth et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Science, Medicine, and Health, Monash University, Victoria 3004, Australia; E-mail:



Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology allows for patient-specific anatomical reconstruction. This study aims to summarize and critique the current literature on 3D-printed carpal bone implants used in various carpal pathologies.


Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched from January 1901 to October 2022. PRISMA guidelines were adhered to, and the study was registered on PROSPERO. Articles utilizing 3D printed carpal bone implants were selected based on pre-determined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The outcomes included intraoperative/postoperative complications, visual analogue score (VAS), disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) score, radial and ulna deviation. The Murad tool was used to assess the quality of case reports and Newcastle Ottawa scale was used to assess the observational studies.


A total of 6 studies comprising of 47 patients (34 males) were included. The average age was 35.3 years and indications for 3D printed implants included Fenton syndrome, Kienböck’s disease, and scaphoid non-union with and without necrosis. The overall postoperative VAS ranged from 0 to 1.4 and a significant reduction was noted from preoperatively with both rest and loading. The overall postoperative DASH score ranged from 9.2 to 25 and significant improvement was noted from preoperatively. The radial deviation ranged from 16.4° to 28.5° and while ulna deviation was from 23.8° to 36.4°. Only one complication was reported in included studies, a dislocation of the prosthesis. The overall quality of included studies was poor.


3D-printed carpal bone implants improved outcomes in pain and function with minimal complications. The current study only reported only one complication postoperatively with no intraoperative complications. These results suggest that while 3D-printed carpal bone implants are still being optimized, large-scale clinical studies comparing the current options with the standard of care would provide better insights for recommendations and counseling.

Keywords: Three-dimensional, 3D, Printed, Implants, Carpal, Bones, Scaphoid, Lunate.