A patient with cervical cancer receives a 3D-printed vertebra

3d printed vertebra

From Israel we get news of how a team of doctors has managed to implant nothing less than a vertebra made by 3D printing in the cervical spine of a patient. This peculiar solution, literally the first time that a procedure like this has been applied, has been devised by the surgeonon Ralph mobbs, belonging to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney (Australia).

As for the patient, we speak of a patient accused of a rare cancerous tumor located at the cervical level, in medical terms a codorm. This type of tumor can grow in the neck of a person to the point of beginning to compress the brain and cause, among different evils, quadriplegia.


Ralph mobbs

After 15 hours of operation, the result has been a success.

As the doctor himself has commented Ralph mobbs:

At the top of the neck are two highly specialized vertebrae that are involved in flexing and rotating the head. This tumor had occupied these two vertebrae. Without treatment, the tumor can slowly compress the brainstem and spinal cord, causing tetraplegia. It is a particularly horrible way to die.

Prior to the solution offered by Mobbs, there are very few attempts to treat this type of tumor surgically due to its complicated location and above all to the high risk involved since, to rebuild the bone, doctors must take it from another part of the body and, at this point, it is very difficult to achieve a good fit.

To get that the operation was finally a success, the doctor has had to rehearse the procedures to be carried out with 3D printed models many times until he found the perfect movements to be executed. As a detail, tell you that the surgical operation lasted no less than fifteen hours.


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