CAD Ortopedia tells us how they printed a prosthesis for Mr.P

Today we’re pleased to present you a case study of a member of WASP Med team, a work by CAD Ortopedia with a patient amputated on the leg.
The work is an interesting application of 3D printing in the creation of a leg prosthesis, with a peculiar mixed technique between traditional and digital.

Patient situation

“Mr.P, transfemoral amputated, presents various issues in his actual socket. For this reason, his movement possibilities are compromised: painful zones of hyper pressure, zones discontinuity, that lead to an important variation in terms of volume and dimensions of the stump during the arc of the day.

Acquiring of the shape, correction and realization of the prosthesis

His stump has been scanned with the help of a structured-light metrology scanner. The data has been elaborated with the software by our informatical technician and orthopedic technician.
Suddenly we went on with the prototyping of a trial socket in PLA, a very thin one and with just two shells, so super light. This socket presented also holes in all the shape, allowing in the measurement phase a more accurate and proper evaluation. Starting from this analysis we developed a socket in silicon that followed the modifications and the fixtures studied thanks to the 3D printed product.

With this approach, the issues expressed before went reducing in the days, and eventually the disappeared completely. The walking has definitely improved and the stump is visibly more tonic.

Considerations on the process

This experience is interesting because today there isn’t a real tested method for these kind of situations. Usually the problem is solved realizing a lot of different trial sockets that are modified until you don’t get to the solution. Clearly this method required a lot of time and work for the measurements and the tests.
The use of 3D printing and scanning reduces a lot the time of measurement, production of the socket. Also the PLA being easily thermoformable helps a lot in the adjustments.
Finally part of the work is done by the machine and not by a person, saving time for the production and focusing the attention of the technician in the phase of the test.”