3D-printed shoulder surgery performed at Westmead Private Hospital
Jul 05, 2021
A woman who was experiencing pain and stiffness from a shoulder replacement performed more than 25 years ago has a new lease on life - after receiving a customised 3D-printed shoulder implant at Westmead Private Hospital.
The cutting edge surgery, performed by Westmead Private Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Manish Gupta, has the 67 year old woman reaching for her hills hoist - having previously resorted to using a small portable clothes line due to the pain in her shoulder.
Dr Gupta said he first met the patient when she had a fall and suffered a fracture around the old shoulder prosthesis. She had been experiencing pain, stiffness and weakness in her shoulder prior to the fall, but had assumed nothing could be done about it.
“She is such a lovely lady, I told her the shoulder was buggered and she said ‘I know, but I’ve just got to live with it’. But when I said to her, ‘no you don’t,’ she was absolutely gobsmacked,” Dr Gupta said.
“First we fixed her fractured humerus and once that healed, we fixed the prosthesis. So we did a lot of 3D implant planning and got the custom prosthesis made for her. The surgery went beautifully and she was out of Westmead Private within a couple of days,” he said.
Dr Gupta believes 3D-printed implants will become routine within a few years. They have the added benefit of being impregnated with silver, making them naturally resistant to bacterial infections.
“We’re entering an era where we’re going to see a lot more revision surgery of these prostheses that were implanted more than a quarter of a century ago. They’re going to come with a lot of problems but when we marry it with the latest technology and can use patient-specific 3D printed implants, we’re going to improve quality of life for a lot of people,” Dr Gupta said.
“Within a few years this will be routine and 3D-printed implants will be for everyone, not only revision surgery,” he said.