February 26th, 2018 by Camrin Parnell

An accessory developed in a 3D printer was used for the first time in Israel, at Shaare Zedek, in orthopedic surgery. The accessory was used to repair congenital malformations in the arm of a 13 year old girl.

The girl came to Shaare Zedek’s Hand Surgery Unit suffering from pain and limited motion of her right hand due to Madelung deformity which is caused by uneven growth of the radius bone near the wrist. A CT scan showed several distortions in her right and left arm that was causing the pain and the limitation of movement.

To print a 3D accessory, bone image tests are analyzed by an advanced 3D system which can view all of the angles of the given object. The distortions are them located and the printed object is then planned. The company then creates the customized accessory that is attached with magnets and placed on the defective limb. This enables precise cutting and insertion of the screws to fix the bone.

Dr. Gershon Zinger, Director of our Hand Surgery Unit, explained, “We performed four incisions at very precise angles [in her right arm], including the placement of three screws that entered perfectly without deviation from the joint or incision. This is very difficult to complete without printing.”

The patient reported a significant decrease in pain and the post-surgery CT scan demonstrated bone fusion. The patient will undergo a similar operation on her left arm and should be able to enjoy full use of her arms and have the opportunity to focus on her favorite hobby of learning languages.

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