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  • Doctors at Fortis Gurgaon implanted the largest (in India) 3D printed customized hip implant in 60-year-old Tanzanian patient with damaged pelvic bone

    Published on July 26, 2021

    New Delhi: The Orthopaedics team at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram recently implanted the largest (in India) custom-made 3D printed hip implant in a 60-year-old Tanzanian patient. Such customised implant was required as the patient’s pelvic bone had been badly damaged due to three previous hip surgeries. The team of doctors led by Dr. Subhash Jangid, Director and Unit Head, Bone and Joint Institute, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram performed this difficult and challenging surgery, which took around 7 hours.

    The pelvic bone of the patient Hanifa, a Tanzanian lady, had been severely damaged because of three hip replacement surgeries before. These three failed hip replacement surgeries left very little bony support for the new readily available hip implants. The hip prosthesis was lying loose in the pelvis and the patient was not even able to sleep because of the pain due to constant irritation of the surrounding muscles around the implant. She was wheelchair bound and barely able to go to washroom with the support of walker. Her leg was short by 6 cm because of the damage to pelvic bone. Besides this, she was also drained of her finances. After securing the required financial assistance from the government, Hanifa sought the medical opinion of Dr Jangid and his team at Fortis Memorial Research Institute. After detailed examination and investigations, it was determined that there was a need for a custom-made 3D printed hip implant for her third time revision of the hip prosthesis. It was the only hope for her to move again without any support and lead a normal life.

    Dr. Subhash Jangid, Director and Unit Head, Bone and Joint Institute at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram said, “This is the first time such a large 3D printed customized implant has been used for a hip surgery in India. Such cases are very rare and complicated. We had to do a meticulous dissection of the important vessels and nerves supplying the limb as they were very close to old prosthesis and embedded in the scar tissue of the previous surgery. Any damage to these important structures would have disastrous consequences as either the limb may get paralyzed or severe bleeding from major intra pelvic vessels can be life threatening. We were able to save all important vessels, nerves and intra pelvic organs of the patient.” Dr Jangid informed that the team conducted several tests and had multiple virtual discussions (because of Corona pandemic) with team of engineers. After two weeks of intense deliberations, the team was fully satisfied and confident about the prototype prosthesis. The final prosthesis came after 15 days with all certifications and quality checks.

    While describing the challenges of such surgery, Dr Jangid said, “The surgery took almost 7 hours as we had to negotiate safely through the old scar tissue and preserve all important nerves, vessels, urinary bladder and other important pelvic organs. Our experienced team of anesthetists maintained the vitals of the patient during the long surgery. She required only four units of blood despite such extensive surgery. Her post-operative recovery period was very smooth. She started walking with support from next day with equal limb lengths (her 6 cm shortened leg was made equal with this surgery). Sutures were removed after 3 weeks. She started walking with the support of cane after 6 weeks of surgery.”  Soon after that, she was flown to her home country via a special flight because of corona pandemic.

    Talking about the clinical excellence at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, Dr. Ritu Garg, Zonal Director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram said, “As multispecialty care hospital, our continuous endeavor is to provide cutting edge technology with best clinical results, providing all our patients with the best possible results. We are very proud to be the first hospital in India to conduct such a large, customized 3D print implant during the current pandemic, and our team of esteemed and experienced doctors worked to their full capacity to make this possible. The patient has been very satisfied with the consultative and thorough treatment approach and customized solution provided to her. I applaud the team of doctors for their continued commitment towards advanced and quality patient care.”