A medical first in Israel: 3D printed ankle-bone implants allow two women to walk freely again.
South African companies LRS Implants and Executive Engineering involved in design and manufacturing of implants.
Two Israeli women who were told they’d never have full ankle movement again following accidents they each suffered are the first Israeli recipients of 3D printed ankle bones that will allow them to move freely. Thanks to 3D printing and medical technology, as well as leading doctors from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva (also known as the Rabin Medical Center), the two women, one of them a teen, underwent the country’s first (and second) talus replacement through 3D printing surgeries. Before this revolutionary technology, those who had severe ankle accidents could remain virtually immobilised for life.
Cape Town-based LRS Implants designed and manufactured the two custom total taluses for the treatment of the two trauma cases on their Custom Implant Solutions (CiS) platform
“When the talus, the main connector between the foot and leg, is destroyed and ankle fusion surgery is performed, this eliminates motion. Without the 3D technology, the only other option would have been to fuse their ankle and they wouldn’t have been able to move their ankle properly,” Dr. Alon Burg, who co-heads Beilinson’s Foot and Ankle Service, told NoCamels in a recent article.
Cape Town-based LRS Implants designed and manufactured the two custom total taluses for the treatment of the two trauma cases. Both cases were performed in order to avoid an arthrodesis (fusion) of the ankle following trauma to the patients.
“This was the first time such a procedure has been performed in Israel, and 25 orthopaedic surgeons from around the country were present to witness the operation,” said Neil Campbell of LRS Implants.
The final taluses were 3D printed out of medical grade titanium (Ti6Al4V) and given a ceramic surface treatment. Executive Engineering manufactured the implants
“The surgery was performed by Dr. Alon Burg (Rabin Medical Centre Orthopaedic Department) and Dr. Graham McCollum (University of Cape Town Orthopaedic Department, Groote Schuur). Dr McCollum travelled to Israel to share his experience of this procedure,” continued Campbell.
“The total taluses were designed on our Custom Implant Solutions (CiS) platform, by converting the CT Scan data of both the patient’s ankles to stereolithography (STL) files, and then mirroring the healthy contra-lateral talus. This model was then checked and adjustments made where required. The final taluses were 3D printed out of medical grade titanium (Ti6Al4V) and given a ceramic surface treatment. One talus was fused to the calcaneus,” explained Campbell.
The full bone assembly
“Last year we partnered with Executive Engineering so that we could have our 3D printing done locally. Executive Engineering invested in a new EOS M 290 metal sintering machine, supplied by Rapid 3D. The EOS M 290 is based on the DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) 3D printing technology developed by EOS. This 3D printing technique uses a fiber laser to melt and fuse fine metal powder. Layer after layer the 3D object is built. This 3D printing method allows us to create 3D printed products with complex geometries including elements such as freeform surfaces, deep slots. More importantly, it allows us to create “mesh” like surfaces that mimic the structure and porosity of bone. This encourages bone in-growth into the implant and greatly increases implant fixation.”
“The 3D printed ankle-bone implants will give the two Israeli patients the ability to walk painlessly and without limitations in ankle flexibility and mobility.”
LRS has five years of experience of producing total talus replacements. The company is indicated for unreconstructible trauma, infiltrative tumours, or post collapse AVN.
For further details contact LRS Implants on TEL: 021 510 3106 or visit www.lrsimplants.com