The first patient with a 3D printer

3D printers are beginning to find more and more widespread use in medicine, serving not only to make organ models that allow surgeons to practice the procedure, but also to create bone prostheses. The latter is more and more popular and a few days ago in Sydney took place the first operation, where the patient implanted the neckline, made with 3D printing technology.

The treatment was performed at the Australian Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney and was led by neurosurgeon Ralph Mobbs. The patient was a 60-year-old man suffering from stridia, a particularly aggressive tumor that forms on the two upper cervical vertebrae and is increasingly endangering the vertebral spinal cord, in extreme cases leading to paralysis.

Its removal is particularly difficult because it is located on the vertebrae which provide head movement, so doctors can not simply exchange bones taken from another part of the body of the patient. Bones must ideally fit, otherwise the head will lose its ability to move. And here comes the 3D printer.

Thanks to cooperation with Anatomics, an Australian medical device manufacturer, we managed to create the perfect replica of two titanium cervical vertebrae.

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