A patient’s mobility is restored with the help of a 3D printed ankle implant, according to an article on 3DPrinting.com.

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A groundbreaking ankle replacement surgery recently took place in the United States, thanks to the advancements of additive manufacturing. Dr. Lauren Geaney, a foot and ankle surgeon at UConn Health’s Musculoskeletal Institute, successfully performed the procedure using a 3D printed implant on patient Lori Cannon. Cannon had suffered a severe ankle injury earlier in the year, which resulted in limited mobility and substantial bone loss. Traditional solutions were not suitable due to the extent of the damage, prompting Dr. Geaney to explore alternative options.

The solution presented itself during a medical conference where Dr. Geaney discussed Cannon’s case. A 3D printed implant, custom-designed to address the bone loss and fracture, emerged as a potential solution. This cutting-edge implant, made of titanium and polyethylene and coated with titanium nitride, offered enhanced durability and function. However, both Dr. Geaney and Cannon were aware of the potential risks involved with this novel approach. After careful consideration and a meticulously executed surgical procedure, Dr. Geaney successfully implanted the 3D printed joint in a five-hour operation.

The results of Cannon’s recovery have been remarkable. Her mobility has significantly improved, and her pain has diminished. The implant is specifically designed to promote bone growth over time, providing greater stability and support. Cannon expressed her gratitude towards Dr. Geaney’s innovative thinking and willingness to explore alternative options. She believes that without this procedure, she would have been left with limited mobility and a decreased quality of life.

This procedure not only sets a precedent for additive manufacturing-based orthopedic implants but has also brought about a transformative change in Cannon’s life. The restoration of her mobility has allowed her to actively engage in life again, participating in activities such as hiking and keeping up with her grandchildren. This serves as an example of how innovative medical interventions, such as additive manufacturing, can profoundly enhance the quality of life for patients.

It is important to note that this remarkable achievement would not have been possible without the advancements in additive manufacturing. This technology has opened doors to new possibilities in the medical field, allowing for the creation of custom-designed implants that address the specific needs and challenges of patients. As additive manufacturing continues to evolve, it has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry, providing innovative solutions for a range of medical conditions.

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