Custom 3D-Printed Implants Foot & Ankle

Custom 3D-Printed Foot & Ankle Implants

Get ready… the future is here. As technology has advanced at a light-speed velocity over the last several years, new opportunities have arisen for significant advancements in orthopedic surgery.

We are now standing at the ground level of a revolutionary expanse of medical technology focused on personalized solutions that are set to unlock unlimited potential in the field of foot and ankle surgery and Fellowship-trained, Board-certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon, Dr. Ryan M. Sherick at Apex Foot & Ankle Institute in Thousand Oaks, California is leading the way.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing is the next big thing for patient’s surgical treatment and the impact will be huge. In the past, a skilled foot and ankle surgeon’s approach to a complex deformity was somewhat limited to their own personal/professional training, outcomes data from the literature in dealing with similar pathology, and the use of mass produced and generic hardware provided by a multitude of orthopedic device companies who must go through an extensive amount of work to get their product line approved for use. To create something new is both challenging and expensive with lots of hurdles in place to prove the technology is safe and effective. Even so, it is not personalized to address the needs of an individual patient or their specific deformity, but to a much broader group of patients. It can be compared to eating at a buffet versus hiring a 5-star personalized chef who can create something different each time based on your cravings at the moment. In other words, with a conventional approach the surgeon’s solution or operative plan is often limited and shaped by what type of generic solutions are already available on the market. Customizing surgery that is patient specific is an all new approach that is used at Apex Foot & Ankle Institute, where options are no longer limited by what is already out there regarding a more generic approach that surgeons have taken in the past. Instead, a customized surgical focus is aimed at helping us create a unique and problem specific solution that is geared towards the type of deformity that we are presented with, especially in dealing with complex deformities or revisions of previously failed surgical procedures of the foot, ankle and lower extremities. Surgical customization allows each patient to have personalized care that was never possible in the past and marks the starting point of a whole new generation of surgical principals aimed solely at producing far better and more predictable outcomes… and Fellowship-trained, Board-certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon, Dr. Ryan M. Sherick at Apex Foot & Ankle Institute in Thousand Oaks, California is leading the way.

What is Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3D-Printing?

Medical three-dimensional (3D) printing, which is based on Additive Manufacturing (AM), is an emerging area of technology that explores how 3D printing can be used to replace or support an existing biological structure, create Patient-Specific Implants/Instruments (PSI), replicate the unique and often complex topography of each patient’s deformity, and allow for the surgeon to “rehearse” a correction on a computer before they execute the plan on a patient during surgery.

3D printing-based technologies represent a shift in the medical manufacturing industry that is a direct result of recent advancements in the Additive Manufacturing industry which have led to improvements in both the size and affordability of 3D printers. This has set the stage to make this customized technology widely accessible, allowing doctors and researchers to create personalized devices and solutions for patients.

A related area of 3D printing called bioprinting, involves combining structural printing and the biological printing of human tissue and organs by layering living cells instead of pure plastic or titanium. While bioprinting remains in the experimental phase, the ability to print human tissue will likely have a huge impact on such things as the design of personalized medications, organ or tissue transplants, surgical operations, and complex reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Ryan M. Sherick works closely with several of the existing and most experienced 3D printing companies and has been recognized as one of the leading surgeons in the country when it comes to incorporating customized patient-specific surgery, PSI and 3D-printed implants for foot and ankle injuries or deformities.

Dr. Ryan M. Sherick at the Apex Foot & Ankle Institute in Southern California is proudly providing 3-D printed implants, and patient-specific surgery to the following areas: Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Malibu, Calabasas, West Hills, Chatsworth, and the entire Conejo Valley, San Fernando Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, and greater Los Angeles area.

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