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Man has 75% of skull replaced with 3-D printed implant

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Some are fascinated with 3-D printing. One man can't get it out of his head.

An unidentified man had 75% of his skull replaced with a 3-D printed implant made by Oxford Performance Materials, a Connecticut company. The surgery this week was the first time a patient received an implant made specifically for him using 3-D printing technology.

The patient, whose name and injury OPM would not disclose, had his head scanned as part of the procedure.

The operation marks a big step in the advancement of 3-D printing technology, the company said. With 3-D printers, users can produce objects with a molding machine based on computer digital models.

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The 3-D printing technology is ideal for implants custom-shaped to each patient's anatomy, the company said.

OPM President and Chief Executive Scott Defelice said 3-D printing allows any type of bone to be replaced with an implant. The technology can shorten surgery time, be less risky and cost less, he said.

"We believe our technology is highly disruptive, and it'll widely affect the orthopedic industry," he said.

The type of implant, which is formally known as the OsteoFab Patient Specific Cranial Device, is made out of PEKK, an ultra-high-performance polymer, according to the company's website.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved OPM's technology last month, clearing the way for the surgery.

OPM said it can make an implant within two weeks of getting a patient's scans, and believes that as many as 500 people per month could make use of the implants in the U.S. alone.


Awesome. But as one of the comments stated:


How is the old skull removed and how do you get cranial nerves back through the foramen without having to cut them? Does this new skull have a dura mater? How do they disconnect the optic nerve and re-connect the eyes to it? So many questions and so few answers. Very exciting technology with major future applications. Hope it holds up over time.

It would be interesting to know how they accomplished all of that. However this is an amazing breakthrough that could help eliminate bone graphs in many cases.



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Hip replacements would become more practical. The elderly that broke a bone and have complications in healing? Screw that, just replace the bone entirely! Someone is in a bad accident? Fixed

And the one I think could be more impressive is curing deafness... we can print out generic delicate ear bone systems to help those born without them, or those with rare cases where their inner ear bone structure locks up due to abnormal growths, kinda like whatever Grissom had on CSI.

Skeletal birth defects? Gone! Catastrophic spinal defects/deformities/injuries? Fixed!

This needs to be invested in... better materials need to be funded and researched. The body automatically rejects hip and knee replacements to where they have to be redone every so many years... Medical insurance companies should be require x-rays to keep a 3D printer blueprint of your hips and knees in your 20s for when you get older and have to have them replaced.



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I'd like the knuckles I busted up as an rowdy teen replaced and the knee I killed moving in here >.<


                                               Look at the flowers

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