Countless innovations were made because of 3D printing technology. Though you can use 3D printers for different applications like creating robots and other stuff for infrastructure and homes, it is no doubt that its contribution to the medical industry is the most remarkable part. It is because it allows people to live a better life and spend more time with their families.
You can see how 3D printing can change the lives of people with the help of doctors and researchers who are making extreme efforts in integrating 3D printers to their profession. They give hope to their patients that they will soon recover and can live longer.
Spinal Implants from Medicrea
For those patients who are suffering from chronic pain, Medicrea is something that can help them with their condition. It is a company that introduced new developments in the spinal implant industry. The Lyon has acquired an approval from the FDA for their first cervical rod which they called UNiD. They will use this cervical rod for spinal surgeries that they claimed to be secured.
With the clearance from FDA, Medicrea had started working on the UNiD technology explaining that they will cover Thoracic, Lumbar, and Cervical for their spinal alignment services. What makes this rod different is because of the fact that it was created through 3D printing. The rod can be customized in a way that it will align with the patient’s spine. As a result, it will provide relief to those who are experiencing extreme pain.
Aside from alleviating the situation of their patients, Medicrea also offers their surgeons with advance tools for them to work faster and easier. Patients will no longer have to spend hours in the operating room.
For those surgeons who are still using the traditional implants with the use of 3D printing, it will surely be hard for them to get the exact shape of rod that they will use for the surgery. They have to do it manually that can be very challenging on their part. They cannot do the process by only using their eyes because it definitely needs utmost precision.
According to Dr. Themistocles Protopsaltis, who is the first surgeon that used the UNiD rods, surgeons will no longer find it difficult to bend the rods that saves them time and will also help them assure of doing the procedure more accurately. This rod can help patients walk and stand better which is important for their daily activities.
The rods are available in 2 alloys that can either be a Cobalt Chromium or a Titanium TA6V ELI. You can also have a single diameter with 3.5mm or a dual diameter with 3.5mm transitioning to 5.5mm or to 6.0mm.
Most people will surely consider this technology a work of fiction that was made possible because of 3D printing. By using the UNiD rods, a lot of surgeons from different parts of the world will realize its benefits. This will help them perform surgeries easier and without committing any mistake. It will also reduce the possibility of the rod to fail while keeping the patients way from staying long in the operating room.
Correction [05/29/2016]: Medicrea does use 3D printing in their products, 3D printing is not used in the rods. They do use 3D printing in their FDA approved patient-specific interbody fusion implants for surgery, which come in the form of lumbar interbody osteosynthesis cages + vertebral body replacement systems (VBR). Their UNiD rods do not use 3D printing but instead precision contouring.