Review and Future/Potential Application of Mixed Reality Technology in Orthopaedic Oncology
Kwok Chuen Wong, Yan Edgar Sun, Shekhar Madhukar Kumta
Orthop Res Rev . 2022 May 16;14:169-186. doi: 10.2147/ORR.S360933. eCollection 2022.
In orthopaedic oncology, surgical planning and intraoperative execution errors may result in positive tumor resection margins that increase the risk of local recurrence and adversely affect patients' survival. Computer navigation and 3D-printed resection guides have been reported to address surgical inaccuracy by replicating the surgical plans in complex cases. However, limitations include surgeons' attention shift from the operative field to view the navigation monitor and expensive navigation facilities in computer navigation surgery. Practical concerns are lacking real-time visual feedback of preoperative images and the lead-time in manufacturing 3D-printed objects. Mixed Reality (MR) is a technology of merging real and virtual worlds to produce new environments with enhanced visualizations, where physical and digital objects coexist and allow users to interact with both in real-time. The unique MR features of enhanced medical images visualization and interaction with holograms allow surgeons real-time and on-demand medical information and remote assistance in their immediate working environment. Early application of MR technology has been reported in surgical procedures. Its role is unclear in orthopaedic oncology. This review aims to provide orthopaedic tumor surgeons with up-to-date knowledge of the emerging MR technology. The paper presents its essential features and clinical workflow, reviews the current literature and potential clinical applications, and discusses the limitations and future development in orthopaedic oncology. The emerging MR technology adds a new dimension to digital assistive tools with a more accessible and less costly alternative in orthopaedic oncology. The MR head-mounted display and hand-free control may achieve clinical point-of-care inside or outside the operating room and improve service efficiency and patient safety. However, lacking an accurate hologram-to-patient matching, an MR platform dedicated to orthopaedic oncology, and clinical results may hinder its wide adoption. Industry-academic partnerships are essential to advance the technology with its clinical role determined through future clinical studies.
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