Australia is becoming the global headquarter of a new medical revolution.
As our sister site Healthcare Global recently wrote, the U.S.-based global provider of 3D printed orthopedic implants 4WEB Medical has teamed up with its Aussie partner LifeHealthcare to perform its first Australian patient specific implant surgery last month in Brisbane.
In June, an Australian man became the first in the world to receive a 3D-printed titanium prosthetic jaw with a joint connecting the jawbone to the skull. In a procedure becoming more prevalent in the healthcare industry, 3D printing is when technology is used to create implants in order to help doctors perform both complex life-saving surgeries, as well as implants fit properly with the patient’s body.
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Today, many doctors believe 3D printing is necessary when performing reconstructive surgery for the head, mouth, jaw, face and neck.
Structural engineering has been used on the construction of buildings, roads and bridges for hundreds of years. Now, 4WEB is utilizing these concepts such as truss design to create innovative patient-specific implants.
The largest offering of 3D-printed osteotomy implants on the market, the Osteotomy Truss System is a comprehensive solution for a surgeon’s osteotomy needs. The system also brings an FDA-approved solution closer to a design that is designed for specific needs of the patient.
“The ability to customize the truss implant to match the unique anatomy of an individual patient is a significant advancement in orthopedics,” said Matt Muscio, COO of LIfeHealthcare. “Current porous metal technologies rely on bone attachment, which has shown some drawbacks over time.
“The open architecture truss implant technology provides robust scaffolding for structural support while allowing for osseous incorporation.”
The 4WEB spine truss systems are different than other fusion implants on the market mostly due to the structural mechanics of the implants are designed to distribute loads across the entire endplate and throughout the entire device.
These implants could reduce stress risers and subsidence-related complications, and eventually stimulate a cellular response through a mechanical transduction of strain.
The design and fabrication process includes surgeon participation in a meeting with 4WEB engineers to confer the patient’s current condition and suggested surgical plan. The surgeon is then able to plan bone incisions using 3D software reconstructions of the patient’s anatomy received from a CT scan.
“We are very excited about 4WEB’s first Australian patient specific implant procedure,” said 4WEB president and CEO Jessee Hunt. “While this is our first custom implant procedure completed in Australia, 4WEB has completed nearly 100 custom truss implant procedures performed worldwide dating back to 2011.”
It appears the industry is only getting started with this new innovation.