July 28, 2021

A pioneer operation implants a custom 3D wrist prosthesis

The Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital in Granada has carried out a pioneering operation in Europe that has returned wrist mobility to a 28-year-old patient who has implanted a customized and 3D-made prosthesis that is anchored to his bones.

Sergio López is 28 years old, a manual job, and arrived at the Traumatology hospital with a lot of pain in the wrist and several erroneous diagnoses until he discovered that he had Kienböck disease, a degenerative disease that had killed one of the bones of his wrist, already necrosed

The delegate of Health in Granada, Indalecio Sánchez-Montesinos, explained during the presentation of this intervention that the patient had affected one of the most important joints, which has been solved with a 3D printing manufactured by a company of the Technology Park of Health (PTS)

"This science fiction is now a reality, this is our public health system," summarized Sánchez-Montesinos.

The doctors responsible for the intervention, Enrique López Herrada and David Peris, have detailed that the young man had limited wrist movement due to the condition of the semilunar bone, which had stopped reaching the blood and that presented necrosis.

His diagnosis came as usual in this disease when the condition was in an advanced stage, with small fractures that cause the bone to collapse and leave the wrist without movement.

"There was only rescue surgery, which serves for pain but leaves mobility in the fingers and not in the wrist," said López Herrada who, with the specialized team, sought alternatives.

Peris recalled that the team discovered the only documented case in the world of a similar operation with a custom implant and developed with a 3D printer, an operation successfully executed in China to treat a doll.

The Granada team contacted the Chinese to delve into this pioneering operation and commissioned the prosthesis from the BRECA Health Care company, a firm located in the Health Technology Park (PTS) that created this bone in titanium.

3D printing technology applied to traumatology began in the US in 2016 and has been the alternative so that Sergio does not completely lose wrist mobility in an operation that became the plan b.

"A 3D reconstruction was done with imaging tests and the collaboration of the company and, to innovate, we fixed the implant to the adjacent bones," said Peris, who explained that holes were included to give the bone more stability.

The new bone of the patient has been made with a scanner and the mirror image of the good bone of the other wrist, which has allowed five months later, the patient has recovered 50 degrees of mobility, an achievement to which new advances will be added.

Sergio has stressed that his new doll gains mobility every day and that, when the rehabilitation with the physiotherapist ends, he hopes to return to work normally and without pain.

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