By now it is no secret that humans are reaping immense benefits from 3D printing, but they are not the only ones. Even animals are returning to happy and healthy lives due to the advances of 3d printing. Oreo is a six year old mixed breed dog in Canada. Oreo had a dislocated hind patella which had to be surgically removed. Once removed Oreo was healthy but he was not able to run, jump or play liked a normal dog his age. This led his veterinarian to reach out to Orthopedic Innovation Center for help with Oreo’s condition.
With a donated patella and scans of Oreo’s healthy patella, OIC was able to create a detailed digital image of Oreo’s missing patella. Then using a 3d printer they created a new patella for Oreo in just four days. The patella was made using bio-compatible polycarbonate and was tested to make sure it would be strong enough to function like a normal patella. The patella was attached to the tendon and quadriceps with polypropylene sutures. Oreo made a complete recovery and regained complete use of his leg just eight weeks after surgery. He can now jump, run and play like a normal dog. FDM printing is revolutionary because it allows for the creation of strong, biocompatible implants that can be perfectly fitted to each patient. Scientists at OIC stated that once they overcome the initial learning curve with creating the patella the production time can be reduced from four days to just two.
main image credit: 3dprintingindustry.com