NHS patient who spent five years on crutches able to walk again with 3D printed implant

  • The patient is now able to walk again

An NHS patient who spent five years on crutches and in a wheelchair has been able to walk again thanks to a life changing 3D printed implant.

The technology is part of the inventions and treatments that have been created by the NHS over its 75 year history.

It is hoped the technology could completely transform orthopaedics.

Gordon Blunn from the University of Portsmouth, explained: "The 3D printed structure enables bone to grow into the prosthesis and it integrates with the skeleton, it becomes part of you."

The young patient had spent five years having to rely on crutches and a wheelchair before she had the implant.

Duncan Whitwell, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, said: "I think we are creating the right environment inside the body to actually grow bone.

"And what we've been able to do with this is take patients who have been in pain for years and suddenly their pain is gone and they are walking almost normally."

The technology means patients should only need one joint replacement operation throughout their entire life.

Trials at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford have already prevented bone cancer patients having whole limbs removed.

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