3D Spinal Implants? Who has ever heard of such? You may have seen something like this on TV, but it is now becoming reality. Being able to print off spinal implants that fit perfectly for the patient is groundbreaking. Doctors are now literally printing custom made body parts for you. Everyone is different so trying to make one thing work for everybody is not always effective. When it comes to spinal problems, making 3D implants are changing the prognosis of many patients and improving the quality of life for people.
3D implants have been used previously to make body parts, but never to make vertebrae. Vertebrae are very intricate structures and difficult to remake. 3D printing has changed all of that. Doctors are teaming up with device companies to make spinal implants custom made for their patients. A Dallas-Fort Worth Company – 4Web Medical is printing 3D implants. They combine architecture with engineering to create spinal implants. Some diseases associated with a spine are difficult to treat without making life worse for the patient. Being able to transplant a copy of a person’s spine to treat diseases like cancer is amazing.
The Next Question is how does this work? To print anything, you need an image. You cannot put someone on a scanner, but you can use the imaging tools that are already being used to make a diagnosis. CT scans and MRI scans are the most commonly used images for 3D printing. Once the image is formed, the 3D printer makes a copy of that image. The 3D structure that is made as a result of printing is usually porous; this allows for bone growth and helps to keep the spine straight. These procedures have been going on all over the world. It has become groundbreaking here in the United States only recently. 4Web Medical is the first FDA-approved 3-D company in the United States. As time progresses, there will be more.
3D spinal implants are only the beginning. Today it is spinal implants. Tomorrow it is new organs or new body parts. Imagine someone needing a kidney transplant and being able to get a new kidney by using his or her own cells. Scientists are working on using a person’s cells on a 3D field to make these types of organs. If you are suffering from spinal problems, this could be a treatment that will suit you well. Many people are benefitting from this surgery and living long healthier lives; this is truly only the beginning.
Dr. Cameron Carmody is a Fellowship trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a Top10MD. Dr. Carmody has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions affecting the spine from disc surgery to scoliosis. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Carmody at Texas Spine Consultants, call 214-370-3535. Dr. Carmody has been named a Top10MD – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeeds with in the United States.