Lublin hospital first in Poland to use 3D-printed prosthetic hip
Doctors in Lublin have become the first in Poland to successfully use a prosthetic hip joint printed on a 3D printer as part of a patient’s hip replacement surgery.
The team from the trauma-orthopaedic unit at Lublin’s Stefan Kardynał Wyszyński Province Specialist Hospital, decided to apply the 3D prosthetic after a patient’s steel prosthetic ran into complications.
Dr Andrzej Atras, director of the hospital’s trauma-orthopaedic unit told the Dziennik Wschodni newspaper: “As a result of the loosening of the earlier placed prosthesis of the hip joint, in this particular female patient, there came to be a large defect in the pelvic bones.
“We had to use a specially expanded implant which would allow for stable embedding in the bone with the use of the remaining regions which contained good quality fragments of bone.”
He added: “Planning an operation such as this is difficult because it requires such distribution of forces in the socket that in the future won’t generate a further degeneration of the bone tissue, and that will in fact stimulate regeneration and rebuilding of the bone bed.”
After assessing her case, the Lublin medical team enlisted the help of Polish orthopaedic firm Medgal to help them make an implant for their patient’s hip joint using a 3D printer.
On the basis of an X-ray and high-resolution computerised tomography, a 3D model of the pelvis and hip joint was produced, which enabled doctors to determine the size of the defects and the damage in the pelvic bone, and to develop an implant as a result of consultations between engineers and an orthopaedic operator.
Afterwards, the implant was fully matched to the remaining acetabulum, so it became possible to place the acetabular component of the prosthesis firmly in the pelvic bone, however the process was not as straightforward as it sounds.
Dr Atras said: “We worked on that socket for two months, to give it the correct geometry and biocompatibility with the patient’s body. It often required several hour long consultations and an evaluation of many variants of the construction in order to select the most optimal one.
“In order to obtain the best affinity with the patient’s bone, the socket was covered with a porous titanium-carbon-silicone coating similar to the bone structure , with an additional anti-bacterial effect.
“This is to ensure bone ingrowth into the structure of the implant and consequently, allow the patient to reach physical fitness faster.”
Following the successful operation, the Lublin medical team are planning further revision arthroplasty treatments of the hip joint using 3D printed prosthetics.