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Walking Again! Patient in China Credits Cure to 3D Printing & Spinal Implant Surgery

by • July 2, 2016 • 9s Comments

oneOh 3D printing, how much do we love you? A lot, according to a man in China who only took his initially steps in really a few time, and is incredibly grateful to have done so.

“For me, it’s a scenario of no cure without 3D printing,” said the patient, Mr. Yuan.

Whilst grateful to be alive, Mr. Yuan is in addition incredibly pleased to be walking again after going through a quite complex time with his health. After doctors discovered a malignant tumor on his spine, they were forced to take aggressive action as is frequently the case, removing both the tumor and a massive portion of his backbone with it. Whilst these measures are taken so which the patient is not consumed by cancer, the repercussions can be devastating, as a fewone may find themselves alive and tumor-free but, as in Mr. Yuan’s case, unable to use their legs.

The team responsible for Mr. Yuan’s new progress was led by Dr. Liu Zhongjun, chief orthopedics surgeon at Beijing Third University Hospital. He decided to fabricate 3D printed mesh tubes which may some day allow for the normal growth of spinal tissues around them.

scansWith five vertebrae being removed, the team 3D printed the patient-specific 3D printed implant at 7.5 inches long (19 cm). It is made of a titanium mesh—and actually additional awe-inspiring, although this is an artificial device, it can encourage Yuan’s spinal cord to grow back, with the mesh biodegrading over time.

“The titanium mesh tube can be any length, actually shorter than 19 centimetres,” Dr. Zhongjun explained. “3D printing can create implants of whatever dimensions and shape. Our prognosis is which the patient can have a full recoquite.”

3D printing and the availability of revolutionary new implants is enabling for changes in procedures like spinal fusion surgery too, with a German patient receiving a 3D printed titanium fusion implant, and a toddler last year actually receiving a 3D printed titanium skull replacement.


Applications like this, contributeing what pretty seem like miraculous opportunities in the medical field, are a significant part of why the hustle is sturdy to employ and refine 3D printing in metal, as well as performing considerable research and development to contribute materials like titanium. Global companies like K2M Group have made entire systems centered around 3D printed titanium spinal implants, as well as newer companies like New Jersey-based Additive Orthopaedics, dedicated to via 3D printing to manufacture implants and parts for the extremities. Researchers in Singapore are actually experimenting with combining 3D printing metal powders and mixing alloys to create advantageous titanium products.

In China, approvals have been coming swiftly in the area of 3D printing innovation with approval by the China Food and Drug Administration, as well as additional specific approval for items like 3D printed spinal sections for medical applications having been passed on May 6. This new spinal implant procedure was the initially successful procedure of its kind in the country. Because this patient responded so well with the implantation of the 3D printed medical device, walking only days afterward, Dr. Zhongjun is sure they can be performing much like surgeries in the next. Discuss this latest medical news over in the 3D Printed Medical Implant Allows Man to Walk forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source/Images: Global News]


Dr. Liu Zhongjun, chief orthopedics surgeon at the Beijing University Third Hospital, assists Mr. Yuan in walking only days after his surgery, with the 3D printed spinal implant that successfully inserted.