The Third Military Medical University of Southwest Hospital in China announced that its orthopedic sports medicine center has completed the country’s first fully 3D printed custom talus implant surgery. The 3D printed implant connects the lower limb to the foot and has the biological function of helping patients to walk again.
Three years ago, 27-year-old electrical engineer Mr. Fang fell down the stairs and sprained his ankle. To treat the sprain, he initially underwent a traditional fracture surgery to reset the bone. Once the bone had reset, however, Mr. Fang began to suffer from talar necrosis, a condition where the talus bone is deprived from blood and oxygen and starts to die. The condition also prevented the patient from walking. Fortunately, Mr. Fang was brought to the Southwest Hospital seeking treatment and became the first ever patient to receive a biologically functional 3D printed talar implant. The talar joint implant, which uses high-tech materials and technology, not only has a support function, but can also allow for the patient to regain normal mobility.