3D printing technology has been improving through the years and every second; people are coming up with new applications and possible new markets for the 3D industry to evolve. Now a 3D implant can help a Chinese patient walk normally again.
After several studies and with the collaboration of ten research institutes that specialize in talar prosthetics that function biologically, the Third Military Medical University of Southwest Hospital in China led by Professor Tang Kanglai, finally achieved the country’s first fully 3D printed custom talus implant surgery.
Mr. Fang had a dysfunctional talus surgery after he fell down the stairs and sprained his ankle. After surgery, he had a talar necrosis, a condition where the talus bone is deprived from blood and oxygen and starts to die. He was taken to the Southwest hospital to had a biologically functional 3D printed talar implant.
The main benefit of this 3D printed talus prosthetics is that it can be custom made and can decrease the need of cutting other bones in order to make it fit. It also has been designed for load bearing, made of titanium and has been coated with special materials to ensure hardness and smoothness.
After 90 minutes of surgery, everything went well and Mr. Fang is recovering as of July 4th. It is expected that he will regain normal mobility in approximately 6 weeks to 3 months.
Professor Tang assures it will take four and a half years of clinical trials and further research before the technology can be adopted on a mass scale. And it would be available for all kinds of prosthetics surgery.
Source: 3D printer and 3D printing news