Computer-assisted surgical planning of complex bone tumor resections improves negative margin outcomes in a sawbones model

Amir Sternheim*, Dani Rotman, Prakash Nayak, Michelle Arkhangorodsky, Michael J. Daly, Jonathan C. Irish, Peter C. Ferguson, Jay S. Wunder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Several technologies have been implemented in orthopedic surgery to improve surgical outcomes, usually focusing on more accurate execution of a surgical plan, but the development of the plan itself is also of great importance. The purpose of this study is to examine whether the use of preoperative computer planning platforms can improve the surgical plan? Methods: Eight surgeons created a preoperative surgical plan to resect a distal femur parosteal osteosarcoma in two settings: (1) Using a 2-D and 3-D CT scan only (current standard); and (2) using a computer-assisted planning platform. The plans were thereafter virtually executed using a novel surgical navigation system and a Sawbones model. This simulated model was derived from, and identical to, an actual patient scenario. The outcomes of interest were the number of positive margin cuts, and the volume of the resected specimen. Results: Using the surgical plan developed with computer assistance, there were 4 positive margin cuts made by 2 surgeons. In comparison, using standard planning, there were 14 positive margin cuts made by all 8 surgeons (p = 0.02). The resection volume was larger in the computer-assisted plans (96 ± 10 mm3) than in the standard plans (88 ± 7 mm3) (p = 0.055). Conclusions: Computer-assisted planning significantly decreased the risk of a positive margin resection in this Sawbones tumor model used to simulate resection of a primary bone sarcoma. This proof of concept study highlights the importance of advanced surgical planning and sets the ground for developing beneficial surgical planning systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-701
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Computer-assisted planning
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Surgical planning
  • Tumor resection


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