Today Lizzie is a happy 1-year-old Yorkshire terrier from Varna. When she was 8 months old, however, she began to immobilize. Her condition deteriorated fast. Doctors diagnosed her with a deformed seventh thoracic vertebra. Shortly afterwards, she almost lost her ability to move normally on her own, falling and dragging her limbs whenever she tried.
It turned out that in order to adapt to the deformed vertebra, the nearby vertebras also deformed and Lizzie got a serious spinal pathology. This led to constant compression and trauma to her spinal cord and disruption of its functions.
Veterinary surgeons faced a problem – Lizzie’s spine was tiny. The place where the implant (1.5 mm in size) had to be positioned was extremely small – about 2 mm.
Therefore, Dr. Hristov – a specialist in surgery of small animals and part of the Bulgarian Association of Veterinary Orthopedics and Traumatology, decided to consult us and resort to the innovations in medicine – to use a 3D printed surgical model of the spine. This is a technology that allows maximum precision. Using the model, Dr. Hristov and his team performed preoperative planning and acted out each of their actions before the actual operation.
In the career of every doctor there are complex patients, that need personal approach and presurgical planning, which is a tough and complicated process. OS surgical models are products that can ease this process by creating realistic 3D model of the patient’s bone trauma using the information from patient’s Computer Tomography scan. We can recreate all bones of the patient and print them.
In the operating theater they used the so-called surgical guides, printed using the same technology. They are patient-specific navigational systems through which the implant is positioned. They allow the operation to be performed with perfect accuracy.
Surgical guides are used for more safety and precision in complex clinical cases. They are a 3D printed product, based on the digital presurgical planning, using specialised software and the patient’s CT.
Surgical guides allow doctors to plan every detail of the surgery, to find the safest and most efficient course of action, to play out the possible scenarios and therefore to reduce the operating time, costs and the risk of unpredictable complications.
As soon as she got home, Lizzie could move. She started walking and going out. Soon she could take long walks in the park. Now, there is no trace left of the intervention. Lizzie returned to the complete life that every living being, regardless of its size and species, deserves.