February 24, 2017 06:33 PM
Printing bones in 3D: UR Medicine researchers call this ‘the next breakthrough’ in reconstructive surgery.
Local scientists have been developing this procedure using 3D printing technology. They’re hoping to eventually use patients’ stem cells to replace damaged bones. Currently, they’re using the data taken from a patient’s CT scan, feeding it into a 3D printer, then creating a replica of a diseased bone.
Researchers at URMC believe this is the shape of things to come.
UR patient Kaydee had a tumor on her knee. “I fell; my tibia bone shattered. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t move my leg. Surgery after surgery, hospital after hospital, this has been my life for the last four years.”
URMC has been using 3D printing for surgery rehearsals for a while now, but this time researchers are working to push the boundaries for patients like Kaydee.
“It will dramatically reduce surgery time because the surgeon won’t actually have to make the construct — it will be delivered,” says Dr. Edward Schwarz.
Edward Schwarz heads the team of scientists making replicas of bones for doctors. He tells News10NBC, replicas help patients better understand the problems and treatment they face.