First 3D-Printed Vertebra Successfully Implanted

the MPR take:

China Central Television is reporting that a Beijing hospital has successfully carried out the world’s first surgery using a 3D-printed vertebra. The patient, a 12-year-old boy with a spinal injury stemming from bone cancer, had the tumorous second vertebra in his neck replaced with a 3D-printed artificial axis over a five-hour operation. Where a diseased axis would normally be replaced with a standardized, hollow titanium tube, the 3D printing technology simulates the shape of the vertebra and is both stronger and more convenient vs. traditional methods. The boy is doing well and is expected to recover soon, although he is still not yet able to speak.

Chinese surgeons implant first 3D-printed vertebra
First 3D-Printed Vertebra Successfully Implanted

Of all the fascinating objects produced by 3D printers in the short time they've existed, this may be the most amazing yet. China Central Television reports that a "Beijing hospital has carried out the the world's first 3D printed vertebra surgery."