Diabetic Patients Aided with Doctor’s 3D Printed Foot Models

Neuropathy is extremely common in people with high blood pressure over time and, if the disease and its nerve numbing symptoms go untreated, a minor foot injury could turn into an infection, which could even result in amputation. And, while it may be difficult for some patients to maintain their blood sugar levels care for their feet properly, 3D printing provides a method for preparing for the worst.

Nicholas Giovinco, assistant professor in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the University of Arizona, directs the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance, or SALSA, a team dedicated to advancing diabetic foot care and amputation prevention. Giovinco has taken to a practice that is more and more common in modern hospitals, using 3D printed models to prepare doctors for surgery. The foot and ankle surgeon says, “Before you go into surgery, you need to have a game plan together.”

And, so, the doctor has converted CT scans of foot and ankle deformities into 3D printable files, to help surgeons know what they’re getting into before operating. Made in partnership with FreeSide Atlanta, a nonprofit workspace, the templates illustrate a variety of diabetic complications, including Charcot foot, a bone weakening disorder often necessitating surgery. Dr. Giovinco explains that, due to neuropathy, “These people have lost the gift of pain.” And, to repair the damage done by Charcot foot, the doctor says it’s as though the surgeons are “taking a house that’s been demolished and putting it back together – piece by piece.” … (Read more)

Source: 3DPrintingIndustry.com