Dr Daniel Penello, of Alexander Orthopaedic Associates, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, has successfully implanted what is said to be the US’s first metal additively manufactured finger bone implant, reports Fox 13 News. The implant was designed for patient Robert Smith, whose middle distal phalanx was shattered in an ironworking accident in 2017.
Smith was initially presented with the choice to live with the injury – which reportedly left him with no function and little feeling in the affected finger – or to opt for amputation of the digit. However, following further research and with the assistance of Additive Orthopaedics, Little Silver, New Jersey, USA, Dr Penello was instead able to develop and metal additively manufacture a finger bone implant custom-designed to fit Smith’s measurements.
According to local news station WINK, the implant was produced on a GE Additive Arcam Q20plus system by FIT America. Following the surgery, Smith is reported to have regained full mobility in the affected finger and has been able to return to work.