Blog Post Scientists 3D Print Shoulder for Patient


Sep

3

2014

Scientists 3D Print Shoulder for Patient

A patient in Rijnland Hospital in Leiderdorp, the Netherlands becomes the latest beneficiary of the 3D printing revolution happening in the prosthetic industry. The patient will undergo surgery for the replacement of their shoulder in which a part or the entire glenohumeral joint will be replaced by a prosthetic implant that was made using a 3D printer. This is the very first time that such an operation is being performed in the Netherlands.

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A CT scan of the shoulder was made several weeks before the operation. The 3D images were then used to assist in determining the optimum position of the prosthesis, and thereafter a customized prosthetic implant was then printed in the United States. The position of the prosthesis was previously determined during the operation using the naked eye. Now the unique 3D printed implant is simply connected naturally to the patient’s anatomy.

The 3D printed joint can be fitted more naturally to the patient via optimal placement. As such, the prosthesis will enable the patient to move better. This is due to the fact that the forces are distributed just as in a normal joint, thereby assisting in the reduction of wear, while prolonging the service life of the prosthesis.

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