3D Printed Titanium Vertebrae Restores Woman’s Damaged Spine
A 32 year old woman in India, whose tuberculosis manifested in her spine, ended up with a curved posture that obstructed her spinal cord, resulting in progressive weakness in her limbs. The disease caused so much damage to her spine in 10 different vertebrae that there was no support between her skull and lower spine.Thanks to 3D printing though, she will return to normal within 2 weeks.
A team of surgeons at Medanta – The Medcity in Gurgaon, India, managed to get 3d print titanium replacements of her damaged first, second and third vertebrae and insert them in her spine in a 10 hour surgery. CT and MRI scans of the spine were obtained first, which were then studied to ensure that the final, 3d printed vertebrae would fit in perfectly. The 3D printed titanium replacements were also tested for biomechanics and stress risers, and multiple design teams from India, US and Sweden provided the final version of the implants to the hospital where the surgery was performed.
The patient, who is a teacher, is recovering well, and will be able to return to a risk free, normal life in about 2 weeks.
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