July 29, 2015 | By Simon

As we continue to learn how 3D printing can be used in a multitude of medical-related applications in an effort to improve the human condition against a variety of ailments, we’re seeing where the technology has been becoming the most useful.  While the use of additive manufacturing for medical-related applications has been used in multiple countries around the world, doctors in China have been among those who are continuously using it the most.  More recently, it was used to repair the legs of a young male patient at in Handan, China.  

After suffering for a number of years from a condition known as genu varum deformity - also known as “bow legs” -  the young patient was admitted to the hospital after experiencing pain and discomfort.  The condition, which is defined by the inward angulation of the distal segment of the knees, had caused the patient’s right leg to bow inwards at a 43 degree angle while the left leg was bowed inwards at a 20 degree angle.    

Because the condition was very severe but not very common, the patient’s doctors were pressured into finding a unique solution with limited references and resources.  Thanks to 3D printing however, the surgeons were able to 3D print 1:1 scale replicas of the patient’s legs and knee joints in order to better understand the patient’s condition and to find the best course of action.  Previously, we’ve seen this done before on patients with sensitive conditions that leave doctors with little room to explore logical solutions during the surgical procedure - such as pediatric cardiac surgery on newborns.  

Using the 3D printed replica of each of the patient’s legs, the surgical team determined that a double knee replacement surgery would be the best course of action and used the 3D printed replicas to both plan and practice their order of operations for the procedure.

After completing the surgery, which took place in early July of 2015, the surgeons deemed the procedure a success - thanks in no small part to the ability to plan and practice the procedure on an accurate replica of the patient’s leg in advance.  Thanks to the procedure, the young patient is able to walk and be active now for the first time in over a decade.    

“High-tech 3D printing joint technology can advance surgery through mock procedures,” said Han Shoujiang, Director of No. 3 Department at the hospital. “On the one hand it allows the surgeon to perform a simulated surgical procedure repeatedly and make correct surgery plan. On the other hand, it allows for customized patient-specific surgical instruments to be created to improve the accuracy of surgery."



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive