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.
We recently welcomed a group of Belgian foot and ankle surgeons to our headquarters in Leuven to initiate them in the numerous possibilities offered by Medical 3D Printing, from pre-operative planning with anatomical models to patient-specific 3D-printed orthotics which enable surgeons to help their patients in a more personalized way.
The study of thumb movement has long been hampered by the limitations of conventional motion-capture techniques. To really get underneath the skin of the test subjects, researchers at KU Leuven Kulak turned to medical 3D imaging to view the full range of the hand’s kinematic chain, including the trapeziometacarpal, scaphotrapezial and radioscaphoid joints.
Hip disorders such as cartilage degeneration or bone fractures are common pathologies which are often treated with prosthetic surgery. Andrea Calvo-Echenique from the University of Zaragoza, Spain investigated how to prolong the lifespan of hip prostheses, and assessed the best options by comparing different stems and bearing materials. Her goals were to reduce the wear in bearing surfaces, as well as reducing the loosening of the stem, which tends to be caused by a lack of mechanical load in the bone. She received a Mimics innovation Award for the best poster submission in 2015.
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.
Both surgical planning and medical 3D Printing are providing surgeons with more options for the surgical treatment of hip patients. With complex hip revision surgery in mind, we recently organized a webinar to present the range of planning and patient-specific surgical solutions offered by Materialise. These include X-ray based planning, 3D-printed anatomical models, and patient-specific surgical guides and implants. We also refer to this as the Materialise Hip Continuum.
Once again, the Materialise Medical team headed out to Florida for the biggest annual orthopaedic event in the world. And we can safely say that a good time was had by all, as we got to attend a number of fascinating talks, meet the passionate and knowledgeable surgeons and researchers who attended the event, and of course inform and help the visitors at our booth!
Warning: A deeply personal blog post ahead! For more than 5 years, Materialise has been spoiling me with incredible experiences; from seeing mummies being brought to life on truly Mammoth 3D printers, to attending Haute Couture fashion shows in Paris, to hanging out with National Geographic photographers, and so much more. And of course, there is also the daily and humbling thrill of working with intimidatingly smart colleagues, often working on projects that improve, and even save, lives. However, the experience of taking a 3D-printed, life-sized copy of my twisted spine out of a bed of powder topped them all – and is an opportunity that I hope could have a positive impact on my quality of life in the years to come.
As March begins, you’ll find the Materialise Medical team on their way to Florida for the biggest annual orthopaedic event in the world, which brings together surgeons, healthcare professionals, and researchers. It’s a fascinating glimpse into a world where innovation is constant and the improvement of lives is a daily mission.
We had the opportunity here at Materialise Malaysia to start off 2016 by living up to the Materialise motto: working towards a better and healthier world. With the help of some talented and generous people, I was able to make a real difference in a wonderful little boy’s life, with a 3D-printed hand. But between the original inspiration to do this, and the final, happy, day when Padmaloshn tried on his new hand for the first time, lay months of dedicated effort by various people. This is how we created Padmaloshn’s new 3D-printed hand.