FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image
4D tech to aid surgeons in hand surgery
Fri, 13th May 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

If you need surgery from stressing your texting thumbs or gamer's wrists too much, you may soon find you're part of a revolutionary surgical procedure.

4D technology is the newest innovation set to change the way surgeons operate in Australia. The surgeons may be using the technology for 4D CT scans, pre-operative hand surgery and bone scanning biomodels, helping them understand hand movements and other minute details of delicate operations.

The surgeons now have a deeper understanding of hand movements including thumb abduction, key pinch and opposition. Doctor Michael Chae, a plastic surgery resident and PhD candidate at Monash University, presented a case report to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Annual Scientific Congress in Brisbane.

“Over the past decade 3D printing has transformed the way surgeons conduct preoperative planning. Here we were able to explore the application of 4D printing in surgical planning,” Dr Chae says.

“We demonstrated how 4D printing can accurately depict the translation of metacarpals during various thumb movements. Immediate feedback from the biomodels enables surgeons to refine their operational procedures and create safer practices.

Chae is optimistic that the 4D technology will change the way hand surgery is performed, offering accessible tools in hospitals and clinics in Australia. Chae's research was recently presented at the RACS Conference and if it is successful in being developed further, it may be the start of a very new type of surgical procedure.