As veterinary medicine evolves, it continues to make incredible strides in improving the health and wellbeing of animals. One of the significant breakthroughs is the use of custom-made implants in veterinary orthopedics. These innovations, which range from patella groove endoprostheses to bespoke spine stabilizers, mandibular implants, and cranial implants, provide unprecedented opportunities for effective treatments and a vastly improved quality of life for our animal companions. By tailoring implants to the unique anatomy of each individual animal, the range of treatable conditions has expanded significantly, while simultaneously improving the likelihood of successful surgical outcomes.
Patella groove endoprosthesis
Patellar luxation, typically seen in smaller dog breeds, manifests as a displacement of the patella from its normal anatomical position in the patellar groove of the femur. This displacement causes discomfort and pain, with the potential to significantly impede an animal's mobility.
The patellar groove endoprosthesis provides a surgical solution to this problem. This custom-made implant is designed to replace the dysfunctional patellar groove, providing a new track for the kneecap to glide along.
Created using 3D printing technology from biocompatible alloys, the endoprosthesis is designed based on the specific anatomy of the individual patient, ensuring an optimal fit and function. This level of customization helps improve the efficacy of the surgery, providing the best possible outcome for the patient.
During surgery, the existing patellar groove is removed and the custom-made endoprosthesis is fixed to the femur, creating a new, functional patellar groove. This allows the patella to move correctly within the knee joint once again, significantly improving the animal's mobility and reducing discomfort and pain.
Implants for Tumor Resection
Custom-made implants are indispensable in cases involving tumor resection from bones or joints. These specifically designed implants fill the space left by the resected tumor, preserving structural integrity and enabling the animal to regain as much normal movement and function as possible.
Porous Implants for Complex Cases
Porous implants represent a groundbreaking solution for managing intricate orthopedic conditions. Their unique design promotes bone in-growth and integration, offering a secure, stable fit. They come in especially handy in cases where traditional implants do not provide sufficient stability or when enhanced bone-implant integration is desired.
Conditions such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), spinal instability, and trauma-related injuries can cause severe discomfort, pain, and even paralysis in animals. Spine implants and stabilizers have been developed to address these challenges. Crafted using 3D printing technologies and biocompatible materials, these custom-designed solutions are tailored to match the individual patient's anatomy, optimizing fit and function. Spine stabilizers provide structural support, helping to maintain proper alignment and prevent further damage. In contrast, spine implants are designed to replace damaged or diseased vertebral components, restoring the structural integrity and functionality of the spine.
Mandibular and Cranial Implants
In the realm of maxillofacial orthopedics, custom-made mandibular and cranial implants play a vital role. Mandibular implants are invaluable in cases of severe trauma or disease affecting the mandible, precisely fitting the animal's unique jaw dimensions to ensure successful surgical outcomes and the restoration of normal feeding habits. Meanwhile, cranial implants, tailored to fit an animal's specific cranial structure, help manage conditions arising from cranial trauma or surgical interventions involving the skull.
Materials used for custom made implants
The choice of materials used for custom-made implants in veterinary orthopedics is fundamental to the function and longevity of the implant. The materials must be strong, biocompatible, and able to withstand the physical demands placed upon them.
Titanium and Cobalt Alloys
Titanium and cobalt alloys have emerged as the materials of choice for load-bearing implants such as spine stabilizers, plates and endoprostheses. These alloys are favored for their exceptional mechanical strength, biocompatibility, and resistance to wear and corrosion.
Titanium alloys, in particular, offer excellent biocompatibility and have a lower modulus of elasticity compared to other metals, which means they can better match the elasticity of bone. This can lead to better stress distribution and lower the risk of implant loosening.
Cobalt alloys, on the other hand, exhibit high wear resistance and mechanical strength, making them ideal for conditions that require durable, long-lasting implants.
Biocompatible Polymeric Materials
For non-load-bearing applications, biocompatible polymeric materials are typically used. These polymers can be either resorbable or non-resorbable, depending on the specific application.
Resorbable polymers have the unique advantage of gradually dissolving and being replaced by natural tissues over time. This makes them particularly useful for temporary implants that support healing, such as in the case of small bone fractures, TTA procedure or certain spinal conditions.
Non-resorbable polymers remain within the body and are used when permanent support is required. These materials offer excellent biocompatibility and can be designed with a range of properties to suit various applications.
In CABIOMEDE we know, that in the quest for improving patient outcomes in veterinary orthopedics, the choice of implant material plays a crucial role. Titanium and cobalt alloys provide robust, long-lasting solutions for load-bearing applications, while biocompatible polymers offer versatile solutions for non-load-bearing implants. These material advancements, combined with the precision of 3D printing, are continually enhancing the field of veterinary orthopedics.