3D Printed Prosthetics for the Amputees
The use of socket-type prostheses is common to people who have no arm or leg. With two million individuals in the United States who are in suffering in this condition, the development of prosthetic technology had only changed a little. Though socket prosthetic is a common device that people make use of, it doesn’t mean that it is free from flaws. People can hardly afford to buy this device because of its expensive cost. Aside from that, you cannot be assured that you can easily balance yourself or maintain your stability when wearing the prosthetic. The worst scenario is that this might lead to accidents. There are also individuals who experience discomfort because of wearing the prosthetic that might result in complications. This is when 3D printing can be of a great help in resolving the situation.
The reason why prosthetics are sold expensively is because of the demand to customize the device in order to suit the needs of the patient. The socket should perfectly fit the amputee’s limb and should be supported by straps and braces. Even if it is carefully placed, patients will still feel the pain and will acquire wounds. With the use of 3D scanning, creating customized prosthetics for patients become easier and there will also be a possible drop regarding the price of the device. Using 3D printing in making modified prosthetic implants is also being studied. This will be directly implanted into the bone of the patient in order to prevent the problem regarding the fit of the sockets.
What You Should Know about Osseointegration
Various researches were made about the surgical integration of the implants directly to the amputee’s bone which is called osseointegration that is recently becoming popular. The implant will break into the skin and will be directly connected to the bone and patient’s body. On the other hand, the permanent implant is the socket which means you can still remove the limb when necessary. This process allows the amputees to control their body and keep their balance without feeling any kind of discomfort that usually occur in the traditional prosthetics. It makes it easier for the users to cope up with their environment.
Unfortunately, the use of prosthetic socket implants is not yet approved by the FDA. They have only allowed the use of the device for research purposes. The main reason for this is because of the complication that can cause stress to patients that give them the possibility of suffering from ancillary injuries. Ruppert as well as other researchers are working on resolving this issue so that patients can get the implants with spending much time for the recovery period and without worrying about infection. There are also searching for ways on how they can merge the implant to the patient’s composition through 3D printing.
The team tries to explore how LIPUS (Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound) can affect the bone connection. This is a therapeutic process wherein the patient’s entire body will be exposed to a low magnitude and high-frequency variation in a given range of amplitude. They found out that the density of the bone will be increased that will reduce bone loss during the time of recovery. Ruppert together with other researchers showed their findings during the Annual Meeting of Orthopaedic Research Society.