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CHINA PERFORMS 1ST SUCCESSFUL REPLACEMENT SURGERY OF A NECKBONE WITH 3D PRINTED TITANIUM BONES.

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Monday, 18 August 2014
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In the world of medicine and hi-tech orthopaedic surgeries Damaged bone can be replaced with
bone from other parts of the body (autografts), from
cadavers (allograft), or with various ceramics or metallic
alloys. The use of autografts limits how much bone is
available, while the other options can result in rejection
by the human body.
According to Japanese media, Kyoto University Graduate
School of Medicine announced that it can now create
artificial bones using 3D printing technology and has
transplanted the bones into four patients with cervical
spine (cervical) disc herniation. After the transplants,
their symptoms such as gait disturbance and hand
numbness were improved.
Artificial bone made using a 3D printer
Based on images of MRI and CT scan of patient’s neck,
researchers sent the design file to a 3D printer.
Composed by thin layers of titanium powder the 3D
printed bone fit perfectly to the cervical spine. After an
extra chemical and heat treatment the 3D printed bone
was transplanted into the patient’s neck.
This transplant surgery is Kyoto University’s surgical
clinical trials. The cost of making such artificial bones
is only several thousand yen (1000 yen = 10 US
dollars).
The team has also printed part of a skull, femur and
spine. According to the researchers, the 3D printed
artificial bones can be used for the patients with bone
tumor who underwent surgical resection. It is believed
that this technique is particularly advantageous for
printing replication of bones with complex 3D shape
such as pelvis.
The United state army pioneered 3D printed body parts to replace damaged parts of their severely wounded soldiers also this technology has really helped in fabricating cosmetic braces in physiotherapy in the US.
I think tertiary orthopaedic hospitals in Africa and Nigeria as a whole should start looking into this new technology to improve on their obsolete braces and assistive devices.

compiled & reported by:@djshyluckjimmy
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