3D Printing May Be a Game-Changer for Orthopedic Surgery

3D printing has officially hit the medical field and it’s already making noise, reports The Jerusalem Post. Recently, 3D printing was used in Israel for orthopedic surgery and found great success. They performed the repair at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem on a thirteen-year-old little girl, essentially printing a bone for her, limiting pain and providing her with full functionality of her arm. 3D printers like these are becoming more and more popular in medicine, and bring hope to patients who had more limited treatment options before.

3D SynergyMed is a company that performs 3D one to one ratio printing accuracy. The innovative technology has given Shaare Zedek new tools to work with, and appears to be a game-changer for deformation repair, tumor removal, and more.
The young girl was battling intense pain and was only able to move her hand in a limited range of motion due to her Madelung deformity. Madelung deformity is a rare condition that causes the radius to grow unevenly. It’s usually caused by genetic factors and may be related to dwarfism and/or an X chromosome mutation.

A CT scan showed the bone distortions responsible for the girl’s pain– they appeared in two separate areas in her right radius, as well as her left. A typical surgery for this type of problem usually alleviates the pain, but does not necessarily fix the problem. Printing, on the other hand, offers hope of a better, more successful, alternative.

Printing allows precision. After locating the distortions, the doctors can plan what exact customized accessory they will need for an individual case, and then send those plans out to another company which creates it. The accessory is placed on the limb that requires surgery. This helps more accurate cutting and placing of screws, which correct the bone.

Surgery using printing was performed in Israel first to remove a cancerous tumor of a young girl, and quickly after that success, medical professionals decided to try it on orthopedics.

After the printing surgery, the girl’s pain level decreased and her functionality is expected to improve, leaving her free to invest her time in her interests and hobbies rather than struggling with the limitations and pain of her condition.

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