In 1977, Meryl Richards of Hampshire, England, was involved in a traffic accident that greatly damaged her hip. She has since been subjected to six operations, none of which was permanently successful.
Fortunately, she was the recipient of a 3D-printed hip made out of titanium. The prosthesis was designed using CT scans and CAD CAM files of the patient’s own hip that matched her exact measurements. In addition to replacing the socket of her femoral head, the doctors grafted bone stem cells behind the implant and between the pelvis, thus facilitating bone regeneration behind and around the location of the implant.
This cutting edge procedure was performed at the Southampton General Hospital at Southampton University by orthopedic surgeons, Douglas Dunlop and Prof Richard Oreffo, who have both championed the research of patient skeletal stem cells in orthopedics.