Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital conducted the country’s first interdisciplinary 3D printing workshop. The workshop was part of the annual Specialty Orthopedic Review Course (SORC 2017) that is held every year under auspices of SICOT India. It was attended by variety of professionals, primarily orthopedic surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, engineers and representatives of 3D printing industry.
3D printing, also known as rapid prototyping, is being increasingly used to improve the outcomes in orthopedic surgery. The development in this area is primarily divided into four segments. The commonest and most widely used application include 3D graphy that primarily means creating a model of patients diseased or fractured part. With the help of this model the surgeons understand the condition better and in many cases do a surgical simulation and plan the inventory. This reduces surgical time, blood loss and improved outcomes. The technology further evolved and patient specific jigs and guide were 3D printed. These patient specific instrumentations allows surgeon to perform surgery specific to the patient condition and allow the same to be performed with smaller incision and lesser tissue damage. The next two arenas in this field – 3D printed implants & Bioprinting are rapidly evolving and are considered to be the next disruptive technology. While 3D metal printers are helping design the customized patient specific implants, Bioprinting is crossing the realms of imagination – by actually help print organs like cartilage, bone, and skin.
The technology now routinely being used by the orthopedic & spine department of Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital has ensured that benefits of technology is harnessed for the most complicated cases. The technology has been used for complex hip and knee replacements in particular the revision replacements.
In Spine surgery it has been used to plan complex scoliosis surgery and atlanato axial dislocations. The orthopedic team at Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital comprising of Dr. Kshitij Chaudhary, Dr. Arjun Dhawale, Dr. Farokh Wadia & Dr. Vaibhav Bagaria is considered a pioneer in the field of medical 3D printing with many first in the field to their credit. With a constant focus on research and innovation, the team has published their results in peer reviewed international journals and also filed patent applications for the innovations in this field. With this workshop, they along with their counterparts at IIT Mumbai, KEM Hospital and industry partners educated the participants about the role of 3D printing in medicine and tips, tricks and traps of utilizing the technology.
The road ahead in the field seems to be very exciting with lots of development expected over next few years. The medicine is increasingly becoming personalized medicine and the technology of 3D printing would likely usher this in an efficient and cost effective manner.