Break a Bone Badly? You Could Be a Candidate for This Innovative 3-D Printed Medical Device

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The Trumatch® Graft Cage – Long Bone is a cutting-edge device that could revolutionize trauma care—and help improve outcomes for patients who have the kind of catastrophic bone injuries that can happen in car accidents.

A long, painful recovery. Amputation. Those are words no patient ever wants to hear. But for people who've experienced an extremely serious bone injury—say, a fall from a great height, a bone tumor or a vehicular accident—these can be very real scenarios.

But a groundbreaking innovation from DePuy Synthes, part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, is poised to help people suffering from such traumatic injuries.

It's called the Trumatch® Graft Cage – Long Bone—a first-to-market implant that's able to be absorbed into the body and 3-D printed in just 10 days, making it highly customizable to a patient's anatomy. It works by supporting bone grafts, which act as fillers or scaffolds to aid new bone growth.

“A lot of other implants for such injuries are shaped like a container, forming walls around the area where there’s bone loss,” explains the device's inventor Scott Larsen, Principal R&D Engineer, DePuy Synthes Trauma. “But our cage looks more like one of those dome jungle gyms you played in as a kid—there are lots of bars that act as shelves, which real bone can grow onto, and eventually encase the entire implant.”

The result: a more precise fit inside the body, and a supporting structure that reduces the chances that a patient might need follow-up surgeries. And because it's 3-D printed, the device can be made more quickly for a patient in need—for example, the digital design of the graft cage can be produced in a few hours.

Click here to see exactly how this cutting-edge technology could help change lives, we're taking you on a virtual journey of the process—from day 1 through to the day a patient is sent home to begin recovery.