By: Jennifer Hicks
A team of surgeons at the University of Verona Hospital in Italy are using 3D printed replicas of bone fractures from patients in the hope of increasing successful first time results of orthopedic trauma surgeries.
Some broken bones can be set with a cast, others require orthopedic surgery if they don’t heal the right way, which can cause chronic pain for the patient.
A Dr. Nicola Bizzotto, an Orthopedic and Trauma surgeon at University of Verona Hospital took 3D images of 20 consenting patients broken and fractured bone and created a 3D printed version of the fractured bone. Using a Stratasys 3D printer, the team used the 3D printed replica to simulate the surgery to determine which techniques or equipment should be used to make the surgery more successful.
The 3D printed fracture replica lets the doctors see exactly what is going on that fracture before they even begin surgery or open up a fractured joint. In this case, the idea is to increase the success rate of the surgery on the first attempt so patients heal faster with no chronic pain. Overall, the innovation of using 3D printed replicas of bone fractures, bones, organs or other body parts can help help doctors, surgeons and researchers thoroughly test methods before the surgery even begins.