Apr 11, 2017 | By Benedict
Orthopedic surgeons at the HELIOS Klinikum Hildesheim in Germany have made a 3D printed hip implant for a 40-year-old Cypriot woman whose hip dysplasia had given her constant pain throughout her life.
Prof. Dr. Burkhard Wippermann and patient Antzelina Kesidi
When you’ve lived with constant pain throughout your life, there comes a point where you think it will never end. After 40 years of chronic pain in her hip, Antzelina Kesidi must have felt this way, especially after undergoing two unsucessful surgeries ostensibly meant to fix her hip problems.
Incredibly, surgeons from the HELIOS Klinikum Hildesheim in Germany have managed to bring that pain to an end—by 3D printing a custom-made, custom-fit hip implant for Kesidi. Some might say it’s “third time lucky,” what with the Cypriot finally finding comfort after her third major surgery; others, however, might call it 3D lucky, with the patient undergoing the first 3D printing procedure of its kind in the Hildesheim and Hanover region.
Although it may be too early to say how the patient will take to the 3D printed implant in the long term, early signs following the three-hour operation are incredibly promising: “When I came to Hildesheim, I could only walk in pain, and with walking aids,” Kesidi said. “Now, for the first time after an operation, I am painless. It feels right.”
Kesidi, born with congenital hip dysplasia, has suffered from hip problems since birth. During childhood, her hip bone did not properly ossify, while one leg ended up five inches shorter than the other. Although performed with the best intentions, her first two surgeries—carried out in Russia and Greece—left her hip bone in a bad condition, ruling out the possibility of attaching a normal implant.
Fortunately, the 3D printed implant used in this latest surgery was no ordinary medical device. Based on images from a CT scan, medical staff used CAD software to model a perfectly fitting implant for Kesidi. Next, they 3D printed some plastic prototypes which could be tested on the patient. A few adjustments were made based on these plastic models, after which a final implant was 3D printed in titanium.
HELIOS Klinikum Hildesheim, where the 3D printed implant was made and attached
When making the 3D printed hip implant, every consideration was made to make the device as comfortable and functional as possible. For example, the bone density of Kesidi’s pelvis was measured digitally in order to find the appropriate site for attaching the implant—a factor that her previous surgeries failed to take into consideration.
Kesidi, who came to Germany after the Cypriot Ministry of Health made a deal with HELIOS Klinikum Hildesheim, can now look forward to a pain-free future with her 3D printed titanium hip implant.
"I am really impressed with how perfectly it fits," commented Prof. Dr. Burkhard Wippermann, Chief Physician at the Clinic for Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery at the HELIOS Klinikum Hildesheim.
"I am indefinitely grateful to Prof. Wippermann and his team,” Kesidi added.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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