While we cover a lot about 3D printing on a daily basis, there are certainly those with a more intimate view of what the technology makes possible — a literal insider’s view, if you will. I’m talking of course about 3D printed medical implants, which have been making their way not only into headlines but into patients’ bodies recently, bringing patient-specific care to the next level. 4WEB Medical, a Texas-based company we have covered often, is among those leading the way in 3D printed implant technology.
With thousands of their 3D printed implants already in use around the world, 4WEB offers an ever-expanding array of options for orthopedic solutions. The company currently offers four implant systems using their patented truss technology that have been cleared for use by the FDA, including their Posterior Spine Truss System, ALIF Spine Truss System, Cervical Spine Truss System, and Osteotomy Truss System. 2016 has seen an expansion of 4WEB’s truss implant offerings, which has been key to seeing the broadening of their use in an increasing number of surgeries — and this week, at the annual meeting of the North American Spine Society (NASS) in Boston, 4WEB announced the first surgeries performed using Curved Posterior Spine Truss System (PSTS) for TLIF procedures.
“New product launches have made a significant contribution to 4WEB’s growth and expansion this year. Year to date growth over the previous year has surpassed 103% in both revenue and unit sales,” Geoffrey Bigos, 4WEB Medical’s Vice President of Spine Sales, noted. “The Q4 addition of the Curved TLIF implant and the expected Q1 launch of the Lateral Spine Truss System will certainly set the stage for a repeat performance in 2017.”
The Curved TLIF system offers yet another option for surgeons to provide relief to their patients. Using 4WEB’s truss-style implants brings engineering expertise right into the human body, allowing for benefits that are certainly noticeable for those using such devices regularly. Surgeons who have utilized these implants are providing feedback for these 3D printed devices, touching on the benefits that set the high-tech implants apart.
Dr. Jeffrey Wise of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center is among those expressing appreciation for 4WEB’s expanding portfolio, explaining:
“With virtually every company now promoting a 3D printed porous titanium implant with stimulative surface roughness, it is refreshing that 4WEB continues to innovate with implants that are uniquely differentiated. While 4WEB¹s truss implants have at least three times more surface area for cell adhesion and differentiation than competitive products, the most important feature is found in the structural mechanics associated with the truss design. The kinetic load distribution throughout the entire fusion column delivers microstrain to adjacent cellular material which can aid in healing by capitalizing on the concepts described by Wolff’s law.”
The key to the success that 4WEB Medical is finding in orthopedics goes back beyond the company’s 2008 founding, as it has been built upon “thirtry years of research in topological dimension theory” that led to the unique 4WEB geometry “that can be used as a building block to create high-strength, lightweight web structures.” 3D printed using medical-grade metals, the implants utilize a truss structure that strengthens and reinforces the capabilities of orthopedic implants.
“The 4WEB geometry leverages multidisciplinary engineering principles such as truss design, load transfer and adjacent material reaction to produce orthopedic implants that actively participate in the healing process,” the company explains of their technology. “The company’s truss designs are built to provide superior strength and promote osseous incorporation, guiding bone formation through structural mechanics rather than through the use of expensive biologics.”
Another doctor using the latest implants from the company notes that it truly is this unique technology behind 4WEB’s Curved TLIF implants that sets them apart from the pack, allowing for clear patient benefits.
“The Curved TLIF device from 4WEB provides yet another viable treatment option that leverages the company’s patented truss implant technology,” noted Dr. Cameron Carmody of Texas Spine Consultants in Dallas. “I have tried several of the new titanium implant designs on the market produced with additive manufacturing and the 4WEB technology has provided the best clinical outcomes for my patients. In addition to excellent clinical results, the 4WEB implant portfolio stands above the rest with the widest range of devices for ALIF, TLIF, Cervical, PLIF, and Lateral spine procedures.”
Thanks to the engineering know-how behind truss systems and the complex geometries capable with metal 3D printing technologies, 4WEB continues to see growth and success in orthopedic treatments. 3D printed medical implants offer ever more benefits to the doctors using them — and of course to the patients able to function with greater ease and comfort post-op.