July 13, 2014

A surgeon in Lyon, France has performed the world's first spinal fusion surgery using customized spine cages created with a 3D printer.

Dr. Vincent FIERE, M.D. at the Hospital Jean Mermoz in Lyon, France, a center specialized in the diagnosis of severe spinal deformities and their surgical treatment, performed the first operation using UNiD ALIF intersomatic anatomical inter-body device developed by French-based MEDICREA group on May 28, 2014.

The device was developed from a 3-D digital file created from the extraction and treatment of pre-operatory scanner images of the patient, a process developed internally by MEDICREA's R&D teams. "The company's design, recording and production methods open the door to the future development of implantable devices that can identically reproduce the elements of the spine that need to be reinforced or replaced by artificial components printed in 3D on implantable polymers or titanium," " said the company statement.

Spinal fusion surgery is performed to correct severe spinal deformities. Damaged discs are replaced with spinal cages to separate the vertebrae and align the spine properly, while a curved spinal rod is screwed into place to maintain that alignment.

"The intersomatic cage, specifically 'printed' by MEDICREA for my patient, positioned itself automatically in the natural space between the vertebrae and molded ideally with the spine by joining intimately with the end plates, despite their relative asymmetry and irregularity," said Dr. FIERE.

With the support of specific softwares and advanced imaging, the UNiD ALIF customized cages made of Poly Ether Ketone Ketone (PEKK) exactly reproduce the anatomic details of a patient's vertebral plates.

"I could also very precisely perform the restoration of the disc height and simultaneously correct the degree of lumbar lordosis using plans I had made several days before the operation with the help of MEDICREA's Surgimap software tool." said Dr. FIERE.

This process and the multiple applications that directly result from it to create bone implants from 3D printing are patent-pending.

"Continuing our trajectory since the launch of our PASS LP UNiD rods which are made to measure for each patient, MEDICREA confirms its position as the pioneer of intelligent spinal implants, perfectly adapted to the morphology of each patient's spinal column and developed in a rational and planned manner to restore the fundamental mechanical equilibrium of the human body," said Denys SOURNAC, president and CEO of MEDICREA.

"By providing pre-planned customization, our goal is to improve patient outcomes and allow our surgeons customers to complete their plans in advance and solely focus on executing their strategy in the OR."

 


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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