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A “Life changing” option with 3D Printed talus.

by • May 3, 2016 • No Comments

The talus is the part ankle that allows for the foot to move in all various directions. High impact injuries like falls, or traffic accidents can cause the talus bone to be fractured, and a high percentage of these injuries outcome in avascular necrosis (AVN)—the death of the bone. The internationally renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Myerson, explains how a talus replacement, tailored to the patient’s specific dimensions, can outcome in a “life-changing experience” for the patient.

“The talus has limited blood circulation, and when it is fractured, that blood circulation is commonly lost. Over time the bone can crumble and collapse, like a squashed orange. You’re left with a flattened, painful and arthritic ankle. When you remove the dead bone of the ankle you are left with a huge hole. The treatment offered to patients to date has been to fuse the heel to the leg (the tibia) and these outcomes are particularly poor. The patient is left with a stiff ankle without any movement at all. But, we have a new method of treatment that is truly unique,” Dr. Myerson said.

The patient’s healthy ankle is imaged by a CAT scan; and so via desktop engineering, the image is reversed and becomes a blueprint for creating the new 3D printed talus.

Several trial implants, created of plastic, are provided to be inserted to determine the most fit. “Once we decide on the one that fits, we and so identify the appropriate matched dimensions to insert in to the patient,” Dr. Myerson said. The final prosthesis to be inserted is created of cobalt and chrome.

Patients who obtain the 3D-printed talus replacement may regain up to 75 percent of normal ankle function.


“If you have a fusion, there is no movement. The talus replacement allows for for the movement of both the ankle and subtalar joints that manufacture moving the foot up and down and side to side possible. The talus replacement assists move these joints for the reason it replaces both surfaces. The final outcome is truly unbelievable, the mobility it affords the patient, enhancing their high end of life. I’ve been practicing orthopedic surgery of the foot and ankle for 32 years and it is rare that a thing like this comes along that assist patients in this way,” Dr. Myerson said.


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