Materialise Expands 3D Printing Technology for Orthopedic Solutions

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Innovations from Materialise do far more than just inspire. Put into action, they transform patients’ lives—as well as the jobs of surgeons who are responsible for making it all happen, ultimately. The world has been watching their progress via 3D printing over the last few years, with countless announcements regarding enhancements, partnerships, and refinements to their series of 3D printed surgical guides—from pediatric ulna and radius osteotomy guides to those created for complex wrist surgeries in adults.

Now, the Belgium-headquartered company is also creating 3D printed orthopedic solutions for adult patients with metacarpal/phalange and clavicle bone deformities. Once again, the benefit of having patient-specific models and surgical guides will propel medical teams even further for success in complicated cases. These new guides are just evidence of one more step taken by Materialise engineers to further progress not just in the medical field, but specifically that of bone deformity corrections.

According to Materialise, they have now been able to support medical teams in over a thousand osteotomy consultations, and their guides can be used in a nearly any surgical procedure—no matter the level of complexity.

“It’s exciting to see Materialise’s patient-specific technology expand to allow surgeons to correct more complex bone deformities and enable more patients to assume the quality of life they had before their injury,” said Bryan Crutchfield, Vice President and General Manager Materialise North America.

Not only do the guides allow for better navigation of the procedure, Materialise points out that they also offer greater confidence to surgeons, and especially those who are involved in surgeries never performed before. The educational benefits are wide ranging too. The 3D printed models can be used to explain more about the diagnoses and surgeries to both patients and their families. Medical students have the benefit of seeing models and guides, as well as training with them. This is also a great benefit for experienced surgeons who may sometimes use 3D printed models and guides to train with for weeks before a new procedure.

Materialise has been the force behind 3D printed guides used in some other very unique surgeries, recently, to include that of a patient in Texas whose elbow was repaired in a very complex and new procedure.

“He had lost all feeling and function in his left arm due to major nerve damage, yet all the bones remained intact. In his right arm, his elbow had been completely shattered,” shared Materialise regarding the surgery. “Although it had never been done, surgeons began looking into taking his uninjured elbow from his left arm and transplanting it into his right arm.”

Reginald Cook rests his arm, which features an elbow transplanted from his left arm, on pillows at UCSF Medical Center. [Image ©Leah Millis]

Surgeons were not only duly prepared for the surgery, but they were able to take pre-op studying even further in visualizing the anatomy of the patient and developing a comprehensive strategy. The medical team worked with Materialise to reconstruct the limb virtually, allowing them to consider all risks involved with the surgery.

Interested in learning more about 3D printed osteotomy guides? Contact Materialise—or stop by their booth (#209) at the American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting, running through September 9th.

What are your thoughts on the latest from Materialise? Discuss this article and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images provided by Materialise]

 

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