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Cancer Patient From Croatia Receives 3D Printed Acrylic Vertebra: The First In The World

Paige Anne Carter



3D printing is widely used in the medical industry to create a wide array of innovations to help different patients suffering from various maladies. Currently, all eyes are at Croatia as researchers were able to perform a successful operation on a patient suffering from spinal tumor. It is not common to hear innovations on treating spinal maladies using 3D printing, but what makes this particular operation innovative was that it is the first one to use all 3D-printed acrylic vertebra–the first of its kind!


Doctors from the Neurosurgical Clinic in Rijeka noted that the 3D printed acrylic vertebra that was used to replace the patient’s metastasized vertebra is that it is affordable and easy to work with. His doctor noted that unlike pre-manufactured designs, the 3D printed vertebra makes the surgery convenient and the patient’s recovery faster.


Instead of using the standard material–titanium mixed with acrylic–the patient was able to afford the surgery. Moreover, the doctors were also able to conduct the operation within a short period of time. For the medical researchers to create the customized vertebra, they used the patient’s imaging tests to create a perfect replacement.


In a country like Croatia, patients cannot readily afford 3D printing technology as their best surgical option. This is the reason why they opt for conventional treatments. What makes conventional treatments challenging is that they are not always effective when it comes to treating rare and difficult conditions. With this new 3D printing innovation, patients now have access to cheap yet effective treatments.


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