12-13 October 2018 10:00-18:00


Advanced 3D printing and scanning technologies exhibition

The perfect fit: Doctors use 3D printing technology to replace patient's hip

The perfect fit: Doctors use 3D printing technology to replace patient's hip

Doctors have used 3D printing technology to replace a patient’s hip in one of the first operations of its kind in Britain.

It is hoped the new titanium joint, which was designed using the patient’s CT scan, will last longer than ordinary hip replacements because it has been made  to precise measurements.

Meryl Richards, 71, who has had hip problems since being involved in a car accident in the 1970s, received the new joint in an operation at Southampton Hospital.

Behind the implant, doctors also inserted a graft containing bone stem cells.

This acts as filler for the loss of bone, and Mrs Richards’ own bone marrow cells were added to the graft to encourage bone regeneration around the joint.

Prior to the operation, Mrs Richards said: ‘I feel excited to have this pioneering surgery ... the way medicine has evolved is fantastic.

The titanium joint was designed using the patient's CT scan. It is said to last longer than normal replacements

'I hope that this will be the last time that I have to have a hip operation.’

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Douglas Dunlop, who performed the replacement, said: ‘The titanium used to make the hip is more durable, and has been printed to match the patient’s exact measurements.

‘The bone graft material that has been used has excellent biocompatibility and strength and will fill the defect behind the bone well, fusing it all together.’


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