After a car accident seven years ago, Reggie Cook was left with a variety of injuries that made him unable to walk or feed himself. He injured a major upper extremity nerve in his left arm, losing feeling and function in an otherwise normal limb, and shattered the elbow in his right arm. At this point, he approached his surgeon in El Paso, Texas, Dr. Eric Sides, with the novel idea of using the healthy but useless elbow of his left arm for an elbow transplant to replace the injured one on his right side.
For patients with early stages of osteoarthritis, high tibial osteotomy (HTO) can be a useful treatment option. In the closing-wedge version of this operation, a wedge of bone is cut out of the lateral side of the tibia, whereas with the opening-wedge osteotomy, a bone graft is inserted in a cut made on the medial side. Both realign the knee and relieve pressure from the joint. The closing-wedge technique is more common, but recently, the opening-wedge osteotomy has become more popular since it is less invasive and possibly results in less deformity of the proximal tibia.
When you scroll through former posts on this Materialise Medical blog, there are countless examples of the added value of Medical 3D Printing and how the technology is changing the lives of patients everywhere. Those stories make the clinical benefits of 3D Printing clear, and show just how much of an impact this technology has been having on different medical fields. To make it widely available and gain acceptance from hospitals, doctors, users and policymakers, clinical evidence is crucial.
15-year-old Parker Turchan was faced with an unexpected and life-threatening tumor, located in his nose and sinuses, and which extended all the way through his skull to his brain. Referred to the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, doctors faced the limitations of conventional endoscopy as the sinus tumor extended so deep into the bone they were unable to visualize it completely.
Despite careful planning, the complex dimensions of the left atrial appendage (LAA) and its variable morphology can result in procedural failure. To make their pre-operative planning even more thorough, a team of Australian physicians from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney turned to medical 3D Printing. The team created an exact replica of a patient's heart while planning a LAA closure procedure with a Boston Scientific Watchman™ device.
What do donor hearts and 3D Printing have in common? The answer to this is the University of Minnesota’s Visible Heart® Lab. Not content with simply teaching their students with 2D images, the team at the lab has moved their academic approach to a whole new level: 3D models of real human hearts. Imagine being able to train as a surgeon with a complete, tangible heart model, as opposed to learning off paper! And imagine acquiring the skills to make 3D models for any operation you might perform throughout your career? Here’s how Materialise enables the Visible Heart Lab’s unique approach to teaching, education and research.
Bon Verweij is a neurosurgeon at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He first became fascinated by 3D Printing over ten years ago, and has tried to use the technology to improve his capacities as a surgeon ever since. One of the first areas of neurosurgery he could imagine innovating with 3D Printing was the skull.
Specialist spine surgeons at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool used medical 3D Printing in preparation for a life-changing surgery. The patient in question was an eight-year-old from Wales with kyphoscoliosis, a complex congenital spinal problem. The surgeons modeled and printed her spine in 3D, giving them a much better oversight for the procedure.
Interview with Werner Budts, MD, PhD - Cardiologist at University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium Prof. Werner Budts can be considered one of the primary advocates on the implementation of 3D Printing in cardiology. For quite some time, he has been turning his digital image data into printable 3D models, using his own desktop 3D printer. The Materialise team visited him to discuss his vision about Medical 3D Printing in hospitals.
Michael Slag was suffering from a growing Pancoast tumor, a rare type of lung cancer. As it intertwined with several critical nerves and blood vessels, surgical tumor resection was complicated as the functioning of his arm could be damaged. To reduce this risk and keep the intervention minimally-invasive, the surgical team at Mayo Clinic used Materialise Mimics software to convert the MRI and CT scans to a 3D-printable model of the tumor and the surrounding tissue and ribs. On the model they could observe exactly how the tumor was wrapped around several of Michael’s critical nerves and blood vessels.