Innovative Use of 3D Printed Hip Joint Changing the Surgical Norms

Share this Article

In 1977 Meryl Richards injured her hip in a car accident. Since then she has experienced chronic pain and disfigurement, with her left leg bone pushing up through her hipbone, weakened by six operations, resulting in one leg being a full 2 inches shorter than the other. In the past years she has used crutches and walking sticks and had resigned herself to the idea that she would soon be in a wheelchair.

bitmap1Hope for her came in the form of a 3-D printed hip implant designed by Mobelife, daughter company to Materialise. Dr. Dunlop, of Southampton Gen. Hospital in the UK approached her problem creatively, by using a 3D printed hip implant which was able to act as a replacement socket by which the ball of the femur bone could interface with the pelvis.

This tailored made joint is printed using titanium from a scan of Meryl’s hip, meaning that it will match the damaged area perfectly. It was then held into place using Meryl’s own stem cells, a technique that has been perfected in a series of recent 3D printed surgical procedures after rigorous clinical testing. In addition, the implant’s porous structure creates a perfect platform for the ingrowth of her natural bone, making the implant as strong as her natural bone would have been.

After hearing about the possibilities provided through this procedure, Meryl was, understandably, bubbling with enthusiasm, “It’s absolutely fantastic – this 3D printing is just taking off, isn’t it? We’ll all be able to come in and have knee replacements made specially for us!”

gif2While this procedure is currently much more expensive than traditional surgeries, Meryl’s particular operation ran approximately $20,000, however, the costs are sure to come down in the future as more and more patients have this type of ‘bespoke’ surgical implantation performed. When put up against the staggering cost of all of her previous surgeries combined, this procedure is actually relatively inexpensive. After all, the true costs have been so much more than just the individual operations.

The benefits also extend beyond resolving Meryl’s hip problem. The ability to plan so much of the surgery in advance shortened the procedure itself and relieved the surgeons of a great deal of stress they often experience while confronting the unknown. A shorter surgery also means a lower risk of infection, which is always a concern in any invasive operation. The surgeons expressed their sincere hope that this would be the last time that she had to come back to the operating room. If all goes as planned, Meryl should make a full recovery and be free of pain for the first time in 35 years.

The healthcare industry seems to be adopting 3D printing at an exponentially increasing rate.  Let’s hear your thoughts on this hip implant, spurred on by Materializes’s technology in the 3D printed hip forum thread at 3DPB.com.

hip

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Mighty Buildings’ Commercial House 3D Printing Automates Construction by 80 Percent

MakerOS Webinar: Make the Most Profit from Your 3D Printing Business



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

3D Printing Webinar and Virtual Event Roundup, August 9, 2020

We’ve only got four online events to tell you about this week—a summit and a few webinars, one of which is on-demand. Read on to learn more! AM Industry Virtual...

Featured

Additive Manufacturing Strategies 2021 Moves Online, Adds Extra 3D Printing Vertical

Additive Manufacturing Strategies (AMS), the annual summit co-hosted by 3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis, is a conference focused on business intelligence for the additive manufacturing industry. The first year, AMS was...

Featured

3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey, Part 1

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this year’s 3DEXPERIENCE Forum by Dassault Systèmes had to be re-imagined as a virtual event, just like so many other conferences. At 1 pm...

3D Printing Webinar and Virtual Event Roundup, August 2, 2020

It’s another busy week in the 3D printing industry that’s packed full of webinars and virtual events, ranging in topics from medical materials and flexible electronics to polypropylene and market...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.