Developing Neuraxial and Regional Pain Procedural Skills Through Innovative 3-Dimensional Printing Technology

Zachary C. Headman, BA, OMS III; Marcus C. Matson, BS, OMS III; Robert P. Schneider, DO; James L. Potter, DO; Debra L. Loguda-Summers, CLSS; Shalini Bhatia, MS; and Tatyana Kondrashova, MD, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: August 22, 2019

Accepted: September 17, 2019

Published: April 1, 2020

J Osteopath Med; 120(4): 273-282

Context: Various forms of simulation-based training, including training models, increase training opportunities and help assess performance of a task. However, commercial training models for lumbar puncture and epidural procedures are costly.

Objectives: To assess medical students’ and residents’ perception of 3-dimensional (3D)-printed lumbar, cervical, and pelvic models for mastering joint injection techniques and to determine the utility of ultrasonography-guided needle procedure training.

Methods: Osteopathic medical students and residents used in-house 3D-printed gel joint models during an injection ultrasonography laboratory for mastering lumbar epidural, caudal epidural, sacroiliac, and facet joint injection techniques. After the laboratory, they answered a 17-item survey about their perception of the importance of the models in medical education and future practice. The survey also evaluated comfort levels with performing joint injections after using the models, overall satisfaction with the models, and likelihood of using models in the future.

Results: Thirty-six medical students and residents participated. Both students and residents agreed that 3D-printed models were easy to use, aided understanding of corresponding procedures, and increased comfort with performing joint injections (all P<.001). Most participants (35 [97.2%]) believed that the models were reasonable alternatives to commercial models. Over half felt capable of successfully performing cervical or pelvic (22 [61.1%]) and lumbar epidural (23 [63.9%]) injections. The majority of participants (34 [94.4%]) would like to use the models in the future for personal training purposes. Overall, 100% believed that the 3D-printed models were a useful tool for injection training.

Conclusions: Results suggest that 3D-printed models provided realistic training experience for injection procedures and seemed to allow participants to quickly master new injection techniques. These models offer a visual representation of human anatomy and could be a cost-saving alternative to commercial trainers.

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