24/7 Customer Service (800) 927-7671

3D Printed Splints and Arm Supports Bring Relief for Patients with Severe Arm Injuries

by • April 6, 2016 • No Comments

The Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

The Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

One of my favourite things of 3D printing is the fact that it provides the skill to manufacture big effects on the lives of a relatively tiny group of folks. One of the most amazing uses for 3D printing equipment is inside the medical field, and additional specifically in creating customized and in most cases improved versions of assistive or prosthetic devices. In most cases those with disabilities require to use mass-turn it intod devices and have them modified
to their specific injury, that can frequently cause discomfort or not turn it into the type of assist or assist that is in fact requireed. But 3D printing custom assistive devices can assist disabled patients turn it into a device that is suited to them precisely, and can be personalized to the user’s specific tastes.

Traditional fashion splint.

Traditional fashion splint.

For those suffering of injure to their brachial plexus, the impact on their lives can frequently be complex, and if not treated correctly may lead to additional injury. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that travels of the spine, through the rib cage and up under the arm where it operates several of the the arm, neck and shoulder muscles. When the nerves are injured or severed it can frequently cause anything of paralysis to numb hands and fingers to limited use of the arm to ongoing, chronic pain. Often the wrist and hands are affected, and in order to practuallyt additional injuries of the inskill to store the wrist stable the patient requires to wear a splint or a brace.

After a mountain biking chance back in 2011, 26-year-old Tom Wheeler suffered injure to his brachial plexus that left his arm weak and in require of a assist splint. Thanks to a three-way collaboration between Wheeler, specialist physiotherapist Marc Lloyd and surgical create tremendous Dominic Eggbeer they have createed a type of splint created specifically to assist contribute specialized and customized assist for those suffering with a brachial plexus injury. The splint was createed with both patient require and aesthetics in mind, as traditional splits can be complex to put on, and are frequently cumbera few and unattractive.

“After the chance it soon became quite obvious there was a lack of wrist assists to assist with brachial plexus injuries. I was appearing for a thing minimal. All the wrist assists I’ve had were quite medical and stood out, and the additional I was recovering, the less I wanted it to appear like I had an injury,” Wheeler told Wales Online.

The 3D printed splints are already being tested at the Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales, and for the reason they are 3D printed to be patient-specific the options are only about limitless. The casts are created via a flexible material that allows for those wearing them a greater range of hand motion, and the skill to avoid via medical splints that are frequently not created for the specific requires of the patient. They can be 3D printed in only of any color imaginable, and actually customized with any type of create or pattern that the patient can imagine.

The 3D printed splint.

The 3D printed splint.

“Current Velcro splints are complex to get on and off with one hand. But they are in addition unattractive to wear, so we are attempting to turn it into a thing that is additional functional, additional wearable and desirable. The prototype casts are tied with bungee cords, that manufacture them simpler to get on and off. It in addition has a little face for a watch and can be printed in any colour or pattern. You can actually have your name on it, so you can quite personalise it in any way you want,” Lloyd said.

Co-creator of the 3D printed splint Tom Wheeler and kickboxer test subject Leif Thobroe.

Co-creator of the 3D printed splint Tom Wheeler and kickboxer test subject Leif Thobroe.

The splints are printed of a 3D scan of the patient’s arm, that is 3D printed so the 3D printed splint can be fit to it perfectly. By testing the splint against the patient’s anatomy, it contributes the wearer the precise type of assist that they require. Co-creator Wheeler has been joined in testing the split by 23-year-old kickboxing champ Leif Thobroe, who injured his brachial plexus during a rugby match.

“Because I have no control over my wrist, I may easily dislocate or injure it. The splint provides a great level of assist. It is advantageous than the material ones for the reason it’s additional solid, it’s additional durable. It is quite great,” said Thobroe.

The specialists at Morriston Hospital are in addition testing the splint on a wide range of patients and injuries, which include all kinds of sports injuries which include broken and fractured bone and stroke victims who may have lost a few of their satisfactory motor control. Wheeler, Lloyd and Eggbeer hope to have the prototype approved for general use by the health chiefs so they can be rolled out across hospitals throughout the UK in the next. What impact do you ponder innovation like this can have in the next? Discuss in the 3D Printed Splints forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source/Images: Wales Online]