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Emerging 3D technology for Patient-specific orthopedic implants

New innovations in 3D printing are improving the lives of surgeons and patients alike. One such innovation is patient-specific orthopedic implants, which have been shown to be more effective than traditional implants when it comes to a successful implantation and quicker recovery time. These novel devices are created with an individual's bone structure in mind, so that they fit perfectly into place at surgery without any additional steps needed. This allows for faster healing times while also minimizing the risk of rejection by the body.

Based on the United Nations Report 2017, the population aged 60 years and above is expected to double by 2050. approximately 15% of China’s population was aged over 60 years in 2015, which is likely to increase to 36.5% by 2050. Considering this growth, increasing the clinical treatment efficiency is important.

In traditional orthopedic procedures, surgeons have to mentally integrate all preoperative two-dimensional (2D) images and formulate a 3D surgical plan. This preoperative planning is particularly difficult in areas that have complex anatomy and severe deformity or in cases of bone tumor surgery. With the advent of volumetric medical imaging and computing technology, 2D axial images can be processed into other reformatted views (sagittal and coronal), and 3D virtual models with patient-specific anatomy can be created. With improved visualization, surgeons can then analyze this processed information to make more detailed diagnosis, planning, and surgical intervention on a patient-specific basis.

Patient-specific orthopaedic implants are emerging as a clinically promising treatment option for a growing number of conditions to better match an individual's anatomy.

The proliferation of 3D printing technology at an industrial level can be attributed to the growing advancement in the area of metal 3D printing. The process of metal 3D printing is now paving its way into the mainstream manufacturing industry. Owing to the gradual developments occurring in the field of technology as a whole, metal 3D printing is now proving to be an indispensable part of the manufacturing sector. Factors like increased government funding towards 3D printing in various countries and customizability are driving the overall market growth in this domain. Although, the market is still relatively fragmented, mainstay industrial players are resorting to mergers, acquisitions and product launches imbibing the latest technologies in an attempt to increase their overall market share.

With the usage of patient-specific surgical plans and custom cutting guides from 3-D reconstructed images of patient anatomy, Surgeons can recreate the exact resections of the computer-generated surgical plan.

3D-printed implants can be fabricated with scaffold lattices that may facilitate osteointegration and reduce implant stiffness. Current Applications include: Total Knee Arthroplasty, Total Hip Arthroplasty, Bone Plates, predicting the outcome of corrective surgery in scoliosis.

Key Drivers of Global Personalized Orthopedic Implant Market

  • Increase in research and development activities and customization of implants.

  • Rapidly growing global geriatric population

  • Degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis and cancer

  • increase in prevalence of orthopedic disorders, such as hip pain, knee pain, low bone density, disc diseases, and osteoarthritis

  • Rising incidences of road accidents and diabetes.

There are many benefits associated with patient-specific orthopedics such as improved quality of life, increased mobility, decreased pain levels, and shorter hospital stays

If you're interested in learning more about this technology or how your company can implement these technologies. Contact us today! We'd love to help you explore new ways your business can take advantage of emerging innovation for improved healthcare outcomes across the board.


Haglin, J. M., Eltorai, A. E. M., Gil, J. A., Marcaccio, S. E., Botero-Hincapie, J., & Daniels, A. H. (2016). Patient-Specific Orthopaedic Implants. Orthopaedic Surgery, 8(4), 417–424.

Wong KC. 3D-printed patient-specific applications in orthopedics. Orthop Res Rev. 2016;8:57-66

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