3D Printing Technology for Amputees

How 3D Printing Technology can Benefit Amputees

There are so many people around the world who are in dire need of prosthetic limbs. Developing countries are the most affected regions where amputations are caused by anything from traffic accidents, land mines, diseases like diabetes, tumors, and infections.

In some cases, a person may have been born with a missing leg or arm, leaving behind a void that can only be filled by a prosthetic limb. Unfortunately, there is a stack shortage of experts, materials, and prosthetic centers that can produce enough of these limbs to meet the overwhelming demand. 

Lately, experts have been turning to 3D printing technology with the hope that it can provide a viable solution to this challenge. But can we put our faith in 3D printing to solve this crisis?

Ever since its introduction, 3D printing technology has exponentially expanded its application; cutting across all industries from manufacturing to academics and sports. Thanks to advancements in this technology, 3D printing has also begun to radically transform medical care.

Amputees and 3D printers for it

A fine example of its application is in the production of prosthetic limbs. Although this is still in its trial phase, the prospects look quite promising! 3D printing makes for a much easier approach to designing prosthetics compared to the traditional method, and there are further benefits involved.

The procedure simply involves scanning the stump of the amputated limb with a computer so that a 3D model of the stump is projected on the screen. From here, orthopedic experts analyze the model and digitally adjust it before sending it to the printer for production.

The printing process takes a matter of hours and the printed socket is connected to a plastic prosthetic limb, after which the patient can test it and if it fits start using it. This a very simple method, unlike the traditional approach whereby the patient had to be encased in plaster; a very intrusive and traumatic approach, especially for children.

With 3D printing, you don’t have to trouble yourself with the plasters anymore when treating patients in remote areas. All you need to do is scan the stump of the limb then send the 3D model digitally to anywhere around the world where experts can assess and adjust it before printing the socket.

In the end, the patient gets a prosthetic limb that has been custom-made for them. However, you will need a large 3D printer that can print the socket model without running out of the room. Patients who have tested 3D printed prosthetics reveal that they are softer, lighter, and more comfortable to use than traditional ones.

Furthermore, it is a quicker, cheaper method of producing prosthetics and makes it easier to rehabilitate disadvantaged communities in regions where you won’t find any prosthetic centers. It is an important tool that can be used to advance humanitarian efforts around the world.

On the downside, the biggest problem with prosthetic sockets is that they are quite unstable and tend to break relatively quickly, especially if it was produced by a cheap 3D printer. The danger here is that the patient may fall and get injured if the artificial leg breaks unexpectedly.  

Although 3D printing technology has shown great potential when it comes to the role it can play in the production of prosthetic legs, some experts cast doubt upon the short time it takes to print a socket and the effectiveness of the technology. 

Nevertheless, this should be good news to any victim hoping to own a prosthetic limb and Joan’s story is a good example of how 3D printing technology is giving amputees a new lease on life!


Electric bike and cancer fighting

Staying Fit With an Electric Bike While Battling Cancer

There is nothing as depressing as finding out from your doctor that you have been diagnosed with a potentially terminal disease such as cancer. The best thing you can do is to try and manage the sickness and make the most of your remaining life in this world.

One great way to do this is to get yourself an electric bike. This amazing two-wheeler will not only help to get your spirits high during this treacherous time but also keep you fit as you battle the side effects of cancer treatment.

The news of a cancer diagnosis can cause you to give up hope in life, and this may, in turn, lead you to live an inactive life that may invite other kinds of illnesses such as cholesterol, stroke, and hypertension. This only serves to speed up your ticking clock and gets you even closer to the grave. 

Luckily, you can choose to live a more positive lifestyle by getting on an electric bike. The special thing about these bikes is that they remove the stress out of riding a regular bike. The added assistance of a motor provides a meaningful workout for people who don’t have the power to keep on cycling continuously.

Even if you were living a relatively sedentary life before the diagnosis, getting used to riding an e-bike will come in more naturally and effortlessly. The bike is also safer for novice riders and will offer the same quality of exercise you get from riding a regular bike; just with less strain!

Apart from keeping you fit, numerous health benefits arise from keeping your body active when riding a battery-powered bicycle. According to research, regular activity will improve cardiovascular health so that syndromes such as high blood pressure are kept at bay. 

There are also significant benefits when it comes to controlling cholesterol levels in your body, and the same is true for blood sugar levels. Your chances of contracting diseases such as diabetes are notably decreased once you start getting active by constantly riding an electric bike.

During cancer treatment, finding time to get on an electric bike will also go a long way to help you cope with the aftermath of every treatment session. Regular exercise helps to improve your overall physical health so that you can perform other duties. 

It improves your body balance and lowers the risk of broken bones in case of falls while keeping your muscles from wasting as a consequence of inactivity. You also become less nauseous and the likelihood of developing blood clots in your legs is significantly reduced. 

The mental benefits will include improving your self-esteem so that you develop the need to keep social contacts. You also become less dependent on family and friends by being able to perform routine duties on your own. Generally, you get a boost in quality of life, which ensures that chances of developing anxiety or falling into the depression are significantly diminished.

Being naturally active by riding an e-bike will help to keep you fit after your cancer diagnosis, as well as help you manage the disease with a positive outlook of life. It also assists your body to be prepared for the abuse that is associated with cancer therapy.