3D printing technology is able to produce personalized artificial substitutes for patients with damaged menisci. However, there is a lack of thorough understanding of 3D printing-enabled (3DP-enabled) meniscus transplantation and its long-term advantages over traditional transplantation. To help health care stakeholders and patients assess the value of 3DP-enabled meniscus transplantation, this study compares the long-term cost and risk of this new paradigm with traditional transplantation by simulation. Pathway models are developed to simulate patients’ treatment process during a 20-year period, and a Markov process is used to model the state transitions of patients after transplantation. A sensitivity analysis is also conducted to show the effect of quality of 3D-printed meniscus on model outputs. The simulation results suggest that the performance of 3DP-enabled meniscus transplantation depends on quality of 3D-printed meniscus. The conclusion of this study is that 3DP-enabled meniscus transplantation has many advantages over traditional meniscus transplantation, including a minimal waiting time, perfect size and shape match, and potentially lower cost and risk in the long term.
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