Injuries to hands and arms make up one-third of all the injuries in Hadassah Medical Organization's emergency rooms, as well as those in other hospitals across Israel.
Two teens, who hurt their arms in separate accidents and who were casted in other medical centers, came to Hadassah a year later. Though supposedly healed, their arms were disfigured and they experienced excruciating pain when using their hands. The girl, 13-year-old Nili Imbar, had given up guitar and taekwondo classes.
3-D technology to the rescue.
“The computerized imaging and printing system eliminates guesswork and enables us to compare the bones in the injured arm with those in their healthy arm,” says Dr. Shai Luria, who heads Hadassah’s Hand Surgery Unit. “Using the printed models meant we could plan the repair properly down to the millimeter and degree.”
The Hadassah team also printed 3D pathways that would guide surgeons to the right spot during the operations. The doctors worked with Synergy 3DMed, the Israeli company that makes the printer, to ensure precision.
Dr. Luria points to the scaphoid bone in his own wrist. “Breaks are pretty common, especially among youngsters who fall on their wrist and don’t even realize it,” he says. “Later on, seeing that it didn’t heal properly, they have to undergo a fairly complex operation and can face months of immobility.”
Nili is back to playing guitar and is a happy teenager again.