Doctors in China used 3D printing technologies in complicated bone fixation surgery

Doctors in China used 3D printing technologies in complicated bone fixation surgery

A successful surgery has recently been performed in a Chinese hospital in Guangzhou on a patient suffering from trochanteric fractures with the help of 3D printing technology.

The surgery took place on January 19, 2014. Zhang, 43, who fell from the height of 3 meters. He was taken to the emergency of the Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University. The incident led to a trochanteric fracture, distal radius fractures – both on the right side. In addition the pelvic bones cracked into 4 parts.


Usually when an open trochanteric surgery is performed, large incisions are made resulting in massive blood loss. That time professor Zeng Shenjun and a group of orthopedists printed out a replica of the patient before operating on a real person. With the help of that replica they managed to get ready for the procedure having practiced on a 3D printed model first. The surgeons composed a plan which relied on a few presurgical modeling.

Having completed preparations, the surgery was performed on the patient on January, 24. While the procedure the curved steel plate was inserted into the proper position. It was fastened with the necessary screws. Thanks to the 3D model doctors managed to find the plate of the proper size and shape prior to the surgery. It was also useful in foreseeing and preventing possible complications.

doctor china 3d printing bone fix

The whole procedure lasted about an hour. Thanks to the minimal section there was about 80 ml intrasurgical bleeding, whereas the usual surgery would have caused at least 1000 ml loss. 3D printing is a good way of decreasing the number of surgical mistakes and patients’ sufferings.

The patient’s reaction to the surgery was good. In a day Zhang was able to stand and make a few steps with special supports.


New to 3D Printing? Check out our 3D Printing basics section, find the answer on popular question what is 3d printing and learn about many other interesting things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *