3D-printed hip implant takes teenager from wheelchair to walking on her own
A couple of years ago Lloyd wrote about 3D-printed "magic arms" that gave a young girl use of her arms again. At that moment it became clear that 3D printing had the potential to revolutionize the medical field and really change lives. The technology is such a game changer because a patient's specific needs can be taken into account when designing things like implants or prosthetics. Patients who were once considered unable to undergo certain medical procedures could now be eligible thanks to the customization of 3D printing.
The latest inspiring story is of a 15-year-old Swedish girl who was confined to a wheelchair because of a congenital disease that caused the growth of benign tumor on her peripheral nervous system. Surgery to remove the tumor and resulting complications led to severe deformation of her left hip. She had to be home-schooled and suffered from chronic pain.
Her doctor Professor Rydholm of Skane University Hospital in Lund, Sweden reached out to Belgium-based Mobelife, an implant design company that specializes in implants for "challenging bone and joint reconstruction surgery."
Mobelife designed a custom implant using a tomography scan that created a picture of the girl's bone anatomy. The 3D-printed implant was then used in reconstructing her left hip with the screws strategically placed in areas where the bone was strongest.
After the operation, she was immediately pain free and soon began walking with a crutch. Now, just 18 months later, she can walk fully on her own.
You can watch a Reuters video about this great story below.