Owing to innovative technology and the talented surgical team, the 60 year-old patient will regain his former quality of life
The Clinic for Orthopaedics in Lovran successfully carried out the first surgery in Croatia involving a 3D-printed shoulder implant, reports Novi list on December 12, 2017. The patient was a 60 year-old resident of Osijek whose entire shoulder joint was ravaged by infection, leading to significant loss of bone mass.
The surgical team was headed by Nikola Matejčić MD, who explained that an individual, personalised implant was created to ensure its bio-mechanic stability. “The latest technological advancements in design of osseointegrating implant segments were used. The implant was created using a technology of additive manufacturing, namely the Trabecular Titanium 3D printing technology which represents a revolution in production of medical implants”, Matejčić said.
The surgery was the end result of a collaboration with experts from other institutions, he added, emphasising the successful teamwork of experts from the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka, the Clinical Hospital Centre in Rijeka and its Department of Radiology, and the Centre for Biomedical Modeling and Innovations in Medicine.
The surgery lasted three hours; the patient is recovering quickly and should be discharged at the end of the week. Owing to the implant in his right shoulder, he will again obtain the quality of life he’d had before he was affected by the disease. Before the surgery, the function of his shoulder dropped to 30 percent, and the orthopaedists in Lovran expect the joint to regain 80 percent of its original function.
The expense of 3D-printing a prosthetic shoulder joint amount to 100.000 kuna. This isn’t the first surgery in Lovran that involved the innovative technology, as the resident surgeons already inserted a 3D printed pelvic joint at the beginning of this year.
“The 3D printing technology really marks a new age in orthopaedics and medicine in general. Up until a few years ago, this would have been considered science fiction, as we’ve never thought an entire joint could be reconstructed this way”, said Branko Šestan MD, the director of the Lovran clinic.