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Zimmer Biomet Receives FDA Clearance for 3D Printed Ankle Fusion System

by • February 11, 2016 • No Comments

1449415710780There’s so much that can go wrong with the joints – particularly the ones that carry our mass. The knees and ankles are sturdy but delicate at the same time, and problems with them can put you, really literally, on the shelf for a long time. (Well, on the couch.) The foot and ankle bones are particularly delicate – and significant. One quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet; each foot and ankle is home to 26 bones, 33 joints, and additional than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. When bones or cartilage in the feet and ankles are damaged, they require a lot of specialized care.

ankle-fusion-2One common foot and ankle surgical procedure is arthrodesis, commjust known as ankle fusion. It can be required for a number of reasons, most commjust fractures and arthritis. It tends to be a last resort in treating severe ankle pain, if treatments like braces and steroid injections have been insufficient. Basically, ankle fusion is precisely what it sounds like – the fusion of the ankle bones to turn it into one connected bone, eliminating pain cautilized by the motion of the ankle.

It sounds painful, and it is – recovery typically takes 10 to 12 weeks, and patients have to adjust how they walk to accommodate the futilized joint. Usually, screws and/or plates are utilized to hold the bones together, and they’re generally not removed after the bones have futilized, except in the case of irritation or infection. Sometimes bone grafts are required. Bone grafts in themselves are tricky and frequently painful, but researchers are coming up with ways to significantly improve them via 3D printing. Now the FDA has approved a new process that uses 3D printing to improve arthrodesis procedures.


Recreateive wedges created of OsseoTi

Zimmer Biomet is a global leader in recreateive orthopedics. Their Unite3D Bridge Fixation System removes the require for the plates, screws and staples utilized in traditional arthrodesis, instead relying on a 3D printed “osteoconductive matrix created to provide for biological incorporation.” Out of the most ways that 3D printing has affected implants of all kinds, one of the most significant is the aptitude to turn it into implants created of biocompatible materials that can be absorbed into the body or that mimic the properties of the body’s effortless structures. The Unite3D process, that was created with assist of orthopedic surgeons Dr. Greg Pomeroy of New England Foot and Ankle Specialists and Dr. John Early of Texas Orthopaedic Associates, utilizes Zimmer Biomet’s proprietary OsseoTi material, a porous metal that mimics the structure of cancellous (spongy) bone.

“By contributeing foot and ankle surgeons a create for osseointegration across the entire fusion site, the Unite3D Bridge Fixation System provides a stable and durable solution for fracture and osteotomy fixation and joint arthrodesis inside the midfoot and hindfoot,” said Dr. Early. “Having replaced the plates, screws and surgical staples of traditional foot and ankle fusion, we in addition wanted to contribute the intraoperative benefits of a streamlined procedure with easy-to-use and disposable surgical instruments.”


Because arthrodesis procedures differ according to the reason for the surgery, as well as patient anatomy, the Unite3D Bridge Fixation System contributes nine implant dimensions options plus single-use surgical instruments. The internal framework of the implants is created to be extra sturdy and rigid, with a zero-prominence create and uniform compression along the entire length of the implant.

“The Unite3D Bridge Fixation System is unlike anything in our portfolio, and we are proud to commercialize a true advancement in this amazing clinical area,” said Ben Joseph, General Manager of Zimmer Biomet Foot and Ankle. “This powerful combination of 3D printing innovation and our OsseoTi porous metal material is just the latest contribution of Zimmer Biomet’s robust advancement pipeline. We aim to assist the one-of-a-kind requires of patients and surgeons while expanding our presence in each category of musculoskeletal healthcare, which include the quickly expanding market of foot and ankle treatments.”