3D printing and medicine are quickly localizing into one emerging field, with many 3D printing feats being performed to replace human bones. With that said, we can look to another 3D printing "first," as Korea's first 3D printed heel bone saves a man from amputation.
A patient in his 20's receiving care at Korea's National Cancer Center, having suffered the consequences of cancer and a tumor removal, was to have his foot amputated due to fear of the tumors continuing to spread.
Fortunately, the doctors were familiar with 3D printing tech and came up with 3D printed titanium heel bone using laser technology in just two weeks. The accuracy of the scans and the translated 3D file allowed the patient’s new heel bone to fit perfectly.
This is not the world's first 3D printed heel bone, as the first such surgery was performed in Melbourne nearly 2 years ago, but it pushes us into a direction that further encourages overlap between 3D printing and medicine.