A new orthopedic device technology using 3D printing was created by MedShape to provide surgeons with biomaterial tools that can easily transform and adapt once inside the body. The technology is called FastForward Bunion Correction Systems that can help patients suffering from foot deformity caused by bunions. This technology can help protect the native bone anatomy. This biomaterial, when surgically placed in the affected area, safely wraps around the metatarsal and adjusts according to the shape of the feet to help fix the deformity.
The best thing about this particular technology is that it eliminates the need for the surgeons to drill through the bone and insert painful metal screws. This bunion correction system comes with a bone tether plate that has unique overall geometry to hold the plate securely in place and also slowly correct the position of the metatarsal. The bone tether plate uses 3D printing to print a medical-grade titanium alloy (ti-6AL-4V) to create the human-implantable device that have customizable geometries to fit into each individual patient.
The revolutionary method provided by this new system resulted in clearance of the device by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Ken Gall, professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and also chief technology officer of MedShape, noted that the FDA approval of the device is important for the company to develop commercialized medical devices that can help patients and doctors at the same time.