Home Applications & Case Studies Chinese doctors successfully implant a 15cm long 3D printed titanium vertebrae prosthetic

Chinese doctors successfully implant a 15cm long 3D printed titanium vertebrae prosthetic

40 year old Ms. Zhou from HuNan (China) has been suffering from tumours on her vertebrae since years. There are also some arteries affected that provide the essential blood for the brain. Different surgeries with conventional methods could not help the women anymore and so doctors at the Shanghai Changzhen hospital decided to try a new method.

Overall six vertebras where affected by the tumour and that causes a lot of problems for the patient. She had difficulties to eat and sometimes she had problems with breathing because her trachea was in an unlucky position. But she and her family have never given up and a team of doctors at the Shanghai Changzheng Hospital started to think about this very complex problem.

After some 3D scans of the affected region were performed, they were able to create a 3D model of the tumour and print it. With the model they started to define a plan on how the tumour could be removed and the affected vertebras could be replaced. The team created a 3D model of a new vertebrae that was printed in titanium. At the ends the vertebrae prosthetic is porous so it is possible that the bone of Ms. Zhou could grow together with the prosthetic. The surgery took over 12 hours and due to the good planning it was possible that it ended successfully.

We used 3D imaging and 3D printing technology based on the patient’s CT and MRI imaging data and designed a spinal prosthesis which is similar to the shape and length of the patient’s spinal section.


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