Amsterdam hospital implants 3D-printed hip in teen girl

Amsterdam hospital OLVG used a 3D printed titanium plate to correct the hip of a 13-year-old girl, June 2017
Amsterdam hospital OLVG used a 3D printed titanium plate to correct the hip of a 13-year-old girl, June 2017. Photo: OLVG

The OLVG hospital in Amsterdam recently implanted a 3D printed titanium plate on the hip of a 13-year-old girl, to correct a fault in her hip. The girl is the first person in the Netherlands whose walking will improve due to a 3D printed implant, the hospital announced on its site.

Orthopedic surgeon Melinda Witbreuk was the one to perform the surgery. In preparation for the surgery, a 3D printed model of the girl's hip was made so that a titanium plate could be printed that fits exactly.

"With the 3D print of the hip head, it was possible to make a plate which fits exactly to this hip before the surgery." she said. This allowed the doctors to correct the hip a lot more accurately and thereby improve the patient's leg and walking more. "An improvement compared to the common method."

Up to now, operations on the hip head were done "by eye", according to the hospital. A 2D X-ray was done to see where the correction was needed and the hip was then corrected with a standard plate. Over the past years a 3D CT scan was used so that orthopedists could better plan for the surgery. But this was the first time that an actual 3D model of the affected hip was printed so that an individualized plate could be made. 

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