Australian orthopaedics company Osseointegration International has announced a hybrid approach to the off-the-shelf versus custom-made implants debate by adding 66 new sizes to the OPL and using 3D printed implants only if needed.
With advances in 3D printing, custom-made implants are becoming increasingly prominent in the orthopaedic market. Many industry insiders believe they will fully replace traditional off-the-shelf implants, especially in areas where a customized solution is claimed to provide improved outcomes for patients.
GlobalData recently listed 3D-printed orthopaedic implants as one of the top trends that will drive the orthopaedic devices market to nearly $50bn this year and featured companies such as Zimmer-Biomet and Johnson & Johnson as leading innovators in customised 3D printing for medical devices.
Although supported by many U.S. orthopaedic surgeons, where the trend of customization is growing rapidly, healthcare professionals outside the US cite higher costs and longer wait times as unwelcome by-products of this innovation.
In the area of massive trauma, Osseointegration International has developed a hybrid approach. Osseointegration is a medical procedure that allows for the direct attachment of an external prosthesis to the skeleton through the surgical implantation of an intramedullary device. The company has created a system called OPL, a new type of prosthesis modelled on the anatomy of the human body that takes the load back to the femur and hip joint when walking. The OPL system is equipped with more than 150 available sizes that make the ready-to-implant solutions suitable for the majority of patients. Recently, Osseointegration International launched a new Type D titanium rod that has further increased the options, including off-the-shelf solutions for patients both with lower and upper limb amputation.
This does not preclude the possibility of offering customized solutions when required by the patient’s anatomy or the complexity of the trauma. Through a partnership with Permedica Orthopaedics, a worldwide leader of orthopaedic implants that recently developed a business unit specialized in the design and manufacture of 3D printed implants, Osseointegration Intl can provide customized solutions on demand.
The designer of the OPL prosthesis, Prof Munjed Al Muderis, said, “Although in our practice, we use customized prostheses and appreciate the benefits, we acknowledge the need for solutions that avoid further costs for amputated patients. The range of sizes of OPL, combined with a solid infrastructure to develop customized solutions when needed, is the optimum approach to guarantee the most effective service to our patients.”