3D Printing Industry reports on the first 3D printed finger implant in the US.
This implant, performed on “Robert Smith, an iron worker from St. Petersburg, Florida…was performed by Dr. Daniel Penello from Alexander Orthopedic Associates and a team from Additive Orthopedics, a New Jersey-based medical technology company.”
These partners collaborated in order to “create the custom 3D printed bone replacement. The alternative for Smith’s injury would have been amputation.”
As Dr. Penello explains: “In 2017, Smith crushed the middle finger on his left-hand’s at work. Completely shattering the bone, the injury drastically hindered his ability to grab, grip, or clasp. Initially, as an operation would have been too complicated, Smith was given the option to either live with the broken finger or have it amputated, which stopped him from returning to work. Thankfully, [I] offered a third option through additive manufacturing. In partnership with Additive Orthopedics a 3D printed finger implant was created to fit Smith’s left hand and return its mobility.”
Additive Orthopedics “recently won FDA clearance for its patient-specific 3D printed locking lattice plates which align, stabilize, and fuse fractures and other problems found in small bones. This technology has been previously used to create 3D printed titanium hammertoe implants.”
“This lattice design, which was incorporated into the 3D printed finger implant, has smaller external pores and larger internal pores, enabling for more efficient healing.”
“Two months after the FDA-approved surgery, Smith has regained some movement in his finger which was previously not possible.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Printing Industry