A decade ago, an Italian surgeon named Dr. Guido Grappiolo used a titanium 3D printed implant on a patient requiring a hip replacement. That patient remains healthy to this day, which bodes well for the medical 3D printing world.
As with all modern healthcare innovations, the longevity of 3D printed implants remains something of a mystery. Everything may appear to be in order, but until you’ve got years of observation under your belt, you can’t know for certain how a titanium printed implant will age over time.
Fortunately for doctors and patients, one of the oldest 3D printing cases of them all is showing positive signs.
Back in 2007, an Italian surgeon named Dr. Guido Grappiolo implanted a 3D printed titanium hip into a patient, and has since implanted close to 600 3D printed Delta-TT hip cups, many of which were 3D printed by metal additive manufacturing company Arcam.
While most traditional replacement hips often need replacing after 10 years—sometimes 15 or 20 if the patient is lucky—that very first 3D printed implant is still going strong after a decade. “The first patient is doing extremely well,” Grappiolo said in a recent interview.
By Benedict | 3ders.org
Image Credit: Lima Corporate