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Patients May Get Lucky “Break” with 3D Printed Plates Thanks to FDA Approval

April 18, 2017
3D Printed Medical Plates

My standard-issue wrist plate may soon be a thing of the past…

When I shattered my wrist in 2014, the surgeon pieced together the fragments using a standard-issue, low-tech wrist plate and permanently screwed it into place.  Now, with the recent FDA approval of Additive Orthoapedics’ 3D printed Locking Lattice Plating System, patients may soon have access to customized plates for “stabilization and fusion of fractures, osteotomies and arthrodesis of small bones.”

“‘We are excited to be one of the first companies to leverage the geometric flexibility, clinical advantages and manufacturing cost benefits of additive manufacturing in the orthopaedic plating market.  These plates can be implanted either alone with locking or non-locking screws, or in conjunction with our 3D printed bone segments through the use of a connection screw. This allows the surgeon to mix and match any wedge and plate combination for various deformities, complex revisions, or other limb salvage procedures,’ president Greg Kowalczyk said in a press release.

Since I have subsequently broken a foot and my other wrist, I will be sure to keep this company in mind, just in case.

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