The operation was planned and executed by Uwe Spetzger, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery of the Klinikum Karlsruhe in Germany. He is the current president of the annual meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery.
The implant was designed by EIT Emerging Implant Technologies GmbH, a newly formed company that is dedicated to 3D printed implant solutions. EIT partnered with 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) in the 3D design and manufacturing process.
This additive manufacturing method allows to mimic the trabecular bone structure. EIT cellular Titanium® with micro-, macro- and nanostructural features provides high stability and speeds up the bone healing and fusion process. It provides an optimal biomechanical and biological environment for natural bone ingrowth without the need to add bone graft. The individualization adds the perfect match and exact fit to the patient's individual anatomy.
The goal of the individualization of series implants is to reduce typical implant related complications such as implant migrations, subsidence into the bone or delayed fusion - all related to insufficient bone-implant contact of standard implants.
Spetzger: "We are fascinated by the possibilities of this new technology combining modern computer-aided design and custom-made manufacturing of a high-tech cervical implant. The future of patient individualized spinal implants has begun."
Stephanie Eisen, CEO of EIT: "In 2-3 years we will be able to provide individualized series implants at reasonable cost. Individualization will deliver better implants, faster and easier surgery and better patient outcome. The reoperation rates in spine surgery are by far higher than for example with hip or knee implants. It is our mission to change this."