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3D printed implants have done wonders for many people with orthopedic conditions. In the past, “one size fits all” type implants often caused complications that required patients to have revision surgeries after their original operations. These patients could suffer a great deal of pain and discomfort because their implants didn’t precisely fit their anatomy. Implants could be cut and shaped to better fit the patients, but this took valuable time during the operation and didn’t always result in a perfect fit.

3D printed implants, on the other hand, can be matched perfectly to an individual patient’s anatomy, and can be digitally shaped well before the operation ever takes place, saving time and allowing for much quicker, more efficient surgeries. More and more patients are becoming the recipients of 3D printed jaws, ribs, spinal implants and more, leading to faster and more successful surgeries and less need for future revisions.

These implants are the result of many parties working together, including surgeons, 3D modeling experts, and 3D printing service bureaus that actually print the implants themselves. But the process can be further streamlined by having a 3D printing facility right in a hospital. Medical device company LimaCorporate and Hospital for Special Surgery, the top-ranked orthopedic hospital in the United States, are teaming up to establish the first 3D printing facility for complex custom implants in a hospital setting.

Having a 3D printing facility in the hospital will dramatically increase and speed up accessibility to these custom implants for patients with complex orthopedic conditions. The two organizations have been working together since 2016, when HSS began using Lima’s proprietary 3D printed Trabecular Titanium implants.

“The close integration between surgeons and engineers is invaluable for designing and refining joint replacements and identifying new solutions for the most complex patient cases,” said Leonard Achan, RN, MA, ANP, Chief Innovation Officer at HSS.

The new facility will be operated by Lima on the HSS campus in New York City’s Upper East Side. It will benefit from Lima’s advanced technology as well as HSS’ expertise in clinical care and biomedical engineering. In addition to directly helping individual patients at HSS, the collaboration is expected to facilitate research and innovation resulting in new products and solutions for patients across the United States.

“We are proud to be the first company to bring 3D printing of implants directly to a hospital organization, where the collaboration between top ranked surgeons and engineers can drive innovation and easier access to patients in the US,” said Luigi Ferrari, CEO of LimaCorporate. “This is what defines Lima. A company that has in the past, and will continue in the future, strive to transform orthopedics by challenging the status quo.”

Lima will be the registered manufacturer for all devices produced at the new facility, which is expected to be operational by early 2020. It will initially serve hospitals in the region before making the devices available to all providers in the United States.

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