3D printing has introduced a whole new chapter to the medical industry with developments spanning from surgical training to fully functioning biomedical implants.
Materialise, a pioneer in medical applications of 3D printing, has expanded its portfolio further by working with hand specialist Dr. Verstreken to improve the lives of children with complex and improperly healed forearm fractures.
One particular case was that of a seven year old boy called Joos who broke both bones in his left forearm in a playground accident last year. Joos’ arm was put in a cast but unfortunately once the healing process had finished, his arm was not properly healed leaving him with no feeling in his fingers and unable to perform the slightest movements.
Joos’ parents were determined to find a solution and sought the expertise of Dr. Verstreken of Monica Hospital, Antwerp. Using Materialise’s surgical planning solutions and 3D printed patient specific surgical guides along with Mobelife’s 3D printed custom made implants, he was able to perform an osteotomy and help the boy regain mobility in his arm.
After six months, Joos recuperated the feeling in his fingers, exceeding his parents expectations. Dr Verstreken has performed similar surgery on four other children who also lacked forearm mobility after double fractures.
Dr Versreken, remarked: “These cases were so difficult and complex that it would not have been possible to obtain a successful reconstruction using conventional techniques.”
Materialise has a growing medical portfolio which includes Belgium’s first 3D printed face transplant orthopaedics.