Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Tech Videos

3D printed hip puts teenager back on her feet

Monday, 03 Feb, 2014 - 02:47

Feb. 3 - A customised 3D-printed hip implant is expected to save a Swedish teenage girl from life in a wheelchair. The implant has been designed around a technology that doctors say, could revolutionise the treatment of debilitating bone disorders. For 16-year-old Fanny Fellesen, the results have been life-changing. Tara Cleary reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Fanny Fallesen is on the road to recovery. Just two years ago, the 16-year-old was looking at a life in a wheelchair, due to a rare degenerative condition called Recklinghausen's disease, which causes skeletal deformities. SOUNDBITE: FANNY FALLESEN, HIP REPLACEMENT PATIENT SAYING (Swedish): "I was very dependent on help from my parents and very dependent on my wheelchair and two crutches and I wasn't as free as I am now. I can do much more, I can cope more myself, be out with my friends and use my wheelchair less and less, walk longer distances." The teenager's recovery is the result of a technological revolution. Traditional treatments for Fallesen's degraded hip just weren't adequate. So in 2012, her doctors recommended she be measured for customized 3D-printed hip implants, courtesy of Belgian company, Mobelife. 3D printing technology offers tailor-made body parts, ensuring an exact match with a patient's anatomy, unlike conventional implants says CEO Tim Clijmans. SOUNDBITE: TIM CLIJMANS, CEO OF MOBELIFE SAYING (English): "These cases are more and more common nowadays with revisions being more common, so there are more and more chances that implants have to be replaced, complex bone defects have to be resolved and complex tumour defects have to be resolved." The printed implant is created using a specialized tomography scan, following the patient's specific bone anatomy. Screw placement is also unique to each patient, based on bone quality. Fallesen's surgeon, professor Urban Rydholm says Mobelife provided detailed instructions for the implants and even though the surgery was challenging, he believes it was his patient's only hope for a life without a wheelchair. SOUNDBITE PROFESSOR URBAN RYDHOLM, SURGEON, SAYING (English): "We can handle severe bone loss in the hip in most cases with standard implants and supporting rings and things like that but this was, we could see no solution for her until we heard about this possibility with custom-made acetabular (hip ball-and-socket joint) implants from Belgium." Currently 3D-printed implants are used only for very specialised cases but Clijmans thinks that will change in future. SOUNDBITE: TIM CLIJMANS, CEO OF MOBELIFE SAYING (English): "I think there are a lot of cases out there which are not that exceptional and complex as this one, where we can provide a lot of added value with this technology." According to Rydholm, Fallesen's prognosis is positive but he says the disease will probably cause problems in her spine and lower left leg later on. But for now, Fallesen is optimistic. SOUNDBITE: FANNY FALLESEN, HIP REPLACEMENT PATIENT SAYING (Swedish): "I'm positive about a future when I can get rid of the crutches and walk without aid."

3D printed hip puts teenager back on her feet

Monday, 03 Feb, 2014 - 02:47

Top News »

Editors' Picks »

The Exchange »

The Exchange: Hot commodity The Exchange: Hot commodity

Wed, 16 Jul, 2014 - (9:25)

The Exchange: Constitutional crusade The Exchange: Constitutional crusade

Wed, 25 Jun, 2014 - (11:35)

The Exchange: The value of money The Exchange: The value of money

Mon, 02 Jun, 2014 - (9:53)

The Exchange: China’s Second Continent The Exchange: China’s Second Continent

Tue, 27 May, 2014 - (9:35)

The Exchange: A master of business arts The Exchange: A master of business arts

Thu, 08 May, 2014 - (8:24)

The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities

Mon, 05 May, 2014 - (8:52)

The Exchange: Let the rocking commence The Exchange: Let the rocking commence

Tue, 08 Apr, 2014 - (8:13)

The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies

Mon, 24 Mar, 2014 - (9:54)

Is doing good a good business? Is doing good a good business?

Mon, 17 Mar, 2014 - (7:38)

Oddly Enough »

Elephants 'lovin' polo tournament Elephants 'lovin' polo tournament

Thu, 28 Aug, 2014 - (1:31)

Triplet pandas celebrate a milestone Triplet pandas celebrate a milestone

Thu, 28 Aug, 2014 - (0:48)

Group shatters record for longest flower garland by a mile Group shatters record for longest flower...

Wed, 27 Aug, 2014 - (1:30)

Masked hero sweeps clean Masked hero sweeps clean

Tue, 26 Aug, 2014 - (1:10)

Right muddy mess at World Bog Snorkeling Championships Right muddy mess at World Bog Snorkeling...

Tue, 26 Aug, 2014 - (1:11)

Hello Kitty conquers space Hello Kitty conquers space

Mon, 25 Aug, 2014 - (1:11)

Japanese zoo welcomes red panda cub Japanese zoo welcomes red panda cub

Mon, 25 Aug, 2014 - (0:42)

Is it a plane? No, it's a hoverbike Is it a plane? No, it's a hoverbike

Fri, 22 Aug, 2014 - (2:40)

Fox kicks off "Simpsons" mega marathon Fox kicks off "Simpsons" mega marathon

Thu, 21 Aug, 2014 - (0:56)

Six-story tall duck floats into L.A. port Six-story tall duck floats into L.A. port

Thu, 21 Aug, 2014 - (1:02)

Young artist paints surreal illusions on bodies Young artist paints surreal illusions on...

Thu, 21 Aug, 2014 - (1:30)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, 19 Feb, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, 05 Aug, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, 17 Dec, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sun, 09 Dec, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Mon, 10 Dec, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Images of August Images of August

Fri, 29 Aug, 2014 - (1:00)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, 22 Aug, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, 11 Aug, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, 08 Aug, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Fri, 01 Aug, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, 11 Jul, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Thu, 03 Jul, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, 20 Jun, 2014 - (3:04)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, 06 Jun, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, 30 May, 2014 - (1:37)