Dr. Panagiotis Glavas recently performed a new surgical technique in pediatric orthopedic surgery. This new approach allowed a child amputee to walk again.
The professor of Surgery at the University of Montreal made history restoring a child's walking capability. For this article, the young patient will be referred to as Charlie.
In January 2015, Charlie had both his legs amputated below the knee after a flesh-eating disease struck him at only 18 months. Although the amputation saved Charlie's life, the bacteria had already infected other cells, particularly those that dictate bone growth.
While the bones in the amputation site began to grow, they grew outward instead of downward. At this unnatural angle, fitting for prosthetic legs was painful. At that rate, Charlie was largely confined to his wheelchair.
According to Dr. Glavas, traditional methods to reconstruct and realign didn't help Charlie's case. So, the surgical team decided to explore possibilities using available technology.
The surgeons found out that they could use a 3D printer to create a cutting guide or an implant fixed on the shin bone during surgery. This allowed the team to replicate the correction to the bone.
The surgeons used the same 3D printer to create a titanium plate to connect two sections of Charlie's left shin bone. This is because all the prefabricated plates couldn't fit Charlie's unusual bone growth.
The procedure was a success. The surgical team will soon perform the same process on Charlie's right leg.
Other types of surgeries will also benefit from this particular groundbreaking procedure. According to Dr. Glavas, this new surgical procedure will most likely become common for made-to-measure implants, particularly for children since they come in all sizes.What do you think of this new development?