Veterinarians at Texas A&M University have used 3D printing technology to implant a double hip joint prosthesis in a Labrador dog named Ava. Ava had already received artificial hip joints as a puppy, which had worn out after many years.
To prepare for the complicated operation, the surgeons created 3D models of Ava’s hip bones. The models were used to precisely fit and place the new prostheses. The models were then used for orientation in the operating room.
According to Dr. Brian Saunders from the University Hospital, 3D printing was a great advantage for the procedure. The individual bone replicas helped to perform the operation successfully despite pre-existing conditions. Shortly after the operation, the now 12-year-old Ava was able to run and play again.
The veterinarians see great potential for planning similar operations on animals even more specifically and reducing risks with the help of 3D printing. Patients benefit from a customized procedure according to their specific findings.