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Thursday, December 29, 2016

3D Printing Technology As Treatment Protocol For Arthritis.

Arthritis is becoming more rampant than ever, listed as the number one cause of disability and affecting over 50 million Americans, which is project to grow to around 67 million by 2030. The word arthritis is essentially defined as ‘joint inflammation’, and is an overarching medical term that describes around 200 rheumatic diseases that negatively impact the joints, surrounding cartilage, and connective tissues. 3D printing technology is helping patients to overcome it,as 3D printing has been used on numerous occasions to help enhance arthritis treatment.A 3D printing expert from the University of Waterloo produced a printer capable of 3D printing bone-like structures from calcium polyphosphate and last year, a number of assistive arthritis tools were 3D printed to ease certain tasks for those with the disease. Randy Clark, a doctor from the Utah-based Coral Desert Orthopaedics of St. George, detailed how improved 3D printing technology has led to better treatment methods for arthritis. Thus far, 3D printing is already capable of assisting in treating the most common form of the disease, which is osteoarthritis in the knee, generally caused by worn-down joints from overuse or abuse. There are a number of self-prescribed treatments to help alleviate this type of arthritis, such as exercise, staying healthy, and keeping the muscles around the joint strong. But some may require surgery at some point, which is where 3D printing technology has started to come into play. The use of patient-specific 3D printed implants help and surgeons believe that those suffering from arthritis could have more joint motion, less overall pain, and maybe even a quicker recovery. All of these benefits come at about the same cost as traditional implant methods, but did require a fair amount of trial-and-error to get right.

Arthritis becoming more prevalent with age, but technology keeps up from KCSG.com on Vimeo.