What They're Saying

The AOS3DP team and surgeons are committed to helping patients find viable options and solutions that will help them have a better quality of life. Some of these patients were told that their only option was amputation, but thanks to 3D printing technology and innovative surgeons, these patients now have a much brighter future. Below are some inspiring testimonials that may be of help. If you would like to share your story with us and others, please contact us at info@AOS3DPrinting.org.

What They're Saying

The AOS3DP team and surgeons are committed to helping patients find viable options and solutions that will help them have a better quality of life. Some of these patients were told that their only option was amputation, but thanks to 3D printing technology and innovative surgeons, these patients now have a much brighter future. Below are some inspiring testimonials that may be of help. If you would like to share your story with us and others, please contact us at info@AOS3DPrinting.org.

Patient Testimonials

My story started about 7 years ago when I missed a step and fell and twisted my ankle. I went to the hospital and was told it was just a sprain. A few years went by and I was still in pain. I went to see a doctor and he told me I had avascular necrosis. He did injections for about a year which totally didn’t help at all. He wanted to do a fusion and I was not willing to do that yet. I found my awesome Dr. Faley in Livonia, Michigan and a year later he did his first TTR on me! It’s been about four months and I’m doing pretty good! I have bad days when it’s rainy and cold but it is finally starting to warm up here and my ankle is loving it!!
-Patient J.T.
My AVN was a result of a traumatic injury in a MVA on Sept 14, 2017. My ankle was dislocated and shattered. I had emergency surgery to repair the ankle and 4 screws were inserted, casted, then booted for 3 months. At that time doc said all looked well but she was a bit concerned that I may have lost some blood supply to the talus. Never used the term AVN, but in doing my own research I realized that was her concern. I became weight bearing again in January 2018 and did we'll till March. Was never really pain free but it was tolerable. In March 2018 it started getting much worse and I started to look for a second opinion. Went to another surgeon and he said the fracture at the back of the talus had caused AVN and he suggested 3d printed total talus replacement (TTR). Previous surgeon was saying fusion and I wasn't willing to go that route. I had my 3rd surgery on Oct 25, 2018. Non weight bearing for another 7 weeks, then booted and PT. I am now 7 months post op and the ankle itself feels great. Doc said the surgery was a home run. I still have lots of issues with the tendons that had to be relocated during this surgery. Still a good amount of tightness and pain. I slacked off a bit on doing my stretches and set myself back a bit. I am now actively doing my stretches again and starting to feel much better. I am walking with lace up sneakers on and I am looking forward to when I can walk barefoot again without pain. All things considered I believe this was a better choice than fusion. Thanks for hearing me out.
-Patient B.P.

I wanted to reach out to everyone at Additive Orthopaedics to thank you for helping our daughter get her mobility back.  For the past couple of years our daughter was hobbling around in so much pain.  It was gut wrenching to see her crying, unable to keep up with her friends and live a normal life.  A few months ago I was researching AVN and found a few articles about 3D printed talus replacement surgery and from that moment I knew there was hope.  After a tremendous effort to find Dr. Mark Myerson, it led me to Dr. James Nunley, and ultimately to Dr. Selene Parekh.  Last week Dr. Selene Parekh performed total talus replacement surgery on our 19-year old daughter’s left ankle using the 3D printed talus created by your company.  The surgery was so incredibly successful that she was out with her friends on the third day and is not experiencing any pain from the procedure.

There are no words to properly convey our gratitude for being part of something so special.  It boggles the mind for me to think how fortunate we are that all of you played a part in giving a young girl her life back.  I wanted to share her story to help you understand that the work you are doing is extremely special.  It is more than just printing parts; you are helping restore people’s ability to walk again, taking away horrible pain, and giving people new hope.

 Here is her journey over the past seven years.

 Our daughter was diagnosed on August 16, 2012 in blast crisis with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) at age 15.  She is now 19 and cancer free after her successful bone marrow transplant.  Before her BMT I pleaded with many of the leading CML experts to stay with the TKI meds, but they all said that BMT was the only route because she had so many blast cells at diagnosis.  I hope the information below can help some people understand what a BMT can lead to.  Looking back I am still not sure if we made the right decision, but she doesn’t have cancer.  Was it all worth it?  What would have happened if we went against all their advice and stayed the TKI route?  We will never know.

 2010 – Before CML

  • Cryoablation heart surgery for SVT (I still think it was a symptom of her leukemia).

2011 – Continuing Heart Issues 

  • Heart Arrhythmia – 7 doctor different doctors

2012 – CML Leukemia Diagnosis

  • CML leukemia (blast phase) diagnosis only after I insisted that they not send us home from the ER for her Heart Arrhythmia for the second time. For the first time they did a physical exam to reveal that her spleen that was 9 times bigger than normal.
  • Hydroxyurea chemo to get her counts normalized.
  • Nine months of Sprycel to get her ready for the BMT.
  • Removal of an ovary to preserve her future fertility.

2013 – Allogenic BMT

  • Broviac port installed.
  • Chemotherapy (two different meds) for 9 days to kill off all her cancer cells.
  • A bone marrow transplant (sister perfect match).
  • Too many transfusions and platelet treatments to count.
  • Thankfully there was no GVHD from BMT because she had a perfect sibling donor.
  • A seizure from a reaction to Tasigna (anti-rejection med)
  • Pleural effusions around her heart and in both lungs.
  • Intubation (chest tubes to drain 12 liters of fluid from her lungs.
  • Coma (11 days – medically induced paralysis).
  • Diabetes from the awful meds (temporary).
  • Prednisone high dose (9 months).
  • Moon face for about a year from the prednisone.
  • Pain in her legs, ankles, hips, just about everywhere.

2014 – AVN Diagnosis

  • Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of her hips, knees, ankles, heels, talus and tibia caused by long term prednisone damage.

2015 – Post BMT AVN Issues

  • Both hips started collapsing
  • Total hip replacement surgery (titanium) on left hip in Oct.
  • Total hip replacement surgery (titanium) on right hip in Dec.

2017 – Total Talus Replacement

  • Total talus replacement in her left ankle with a 3D printed talus made from cobalt. Thank you!
  • Upcoming replacement of her right talus is next.

Our sincerest thanks,

-The D.M. Family

At the age of 12, and then again at 16 years old, Patient E was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. After two bone marrow transplants, full body radiation, chemotherapy, and prolonged steroid treatments, Patient E has been in full remissions now for 17 years. Today, Patient E is 35 years old, works full-time, has been married for 13+ years and has 4 beautiful children. Just over 10 years ago Patient E was diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis (AVN) in both hips, both knees and both ankles. His AVN is believed to be caused by prolonged steroid exposure during his battles with cancer. At the time of diagnosis, Patient E’s left femoral head had already collapsed so he had an immediate hip replacement. For the years following his AVN was treated based on pain levels, and his ankles were what caused him the most trouble. As his pain became worse and worse, doctors started to prepare him for amputation. Because Patient E’s talus was dead from the AVN, he was not a candidate for an ankle replacement or fusion. In October, 2018, Patient E was hospitalized because of severe right ankle pain. Again, amputation was discussed. Thankfully, Patient E pursued a second opinion and found Dr. Jeff Holmes of The Core Institute in Phoenix. Dr. Holmes told Patient E about a new technology being done out of Duke University....a 3D printed total talus replacement (TTR). Through research, months of meetings, appeals, insurance battles and the like, Banner Health agreed that they would fund Patient E’s new talus and let Dr. Holmes be the first in Arizona to introduce this technological medical advancement. On March 19th, 2019 Patient E had an in-bone ankle replacement, total talus replacement, subtalar fusion, and tendon lengthening surgery. At just 9 weeks out of surgery, Patient E ‘s recovery is remarkable! He can already distinguish that any pain or discomfort he does feel as surgical or swelling pain, not the previous "bone pain" that was excruciating. Patient E is fully weight bearing, walking unassisted in shoes, completing physical therapy, driving on his own, and was back to work less than a week after surgery. This was an attempt to salvage Patient E’s leg, and one he is eternally grateful for. Without the 3D printed talus technology, Dr. Holmes, and Banner Health agreeing to go on this journey with us, Patient E would have been forced to give up his leg. Considering he has the same disease in his other ankle, this was the best possible outcome we could have hoped for. AVN is just one of many diagnoses and reasons a TTR is a necessary option for patients. This technology can literally save patients limbs and improve quality of life to something they never dreamed was possible. The cost of the 3D printed talus is much more inexpensive than costs associated with an amputation and the lifetime managing of a prosthetic. Let's join the innovative doctors and 3D printing companies who are pioneering these efforts, let's support patients who deserve the opportunity to keep their own limbs, and let's get the total talus replacement approved as a covered option all around the United States, and the world.
-Patient E.M.
To whom it may concern, On June 4, 2016, my life changed when I sustained a comminuted left talar dome fracture. My fracture was severe but because of the massive swelling I couldn’t have surgery immediately. Two weeks later I had ORIF with three screws and then six months later after a CT scan confirmed non-union I underwent a second surgery which included: one screw removed, micro-fracturing, and bio-cartilage placement. At the time of my fracture I was a 33 year old registered nurse in West Virginia. I was told that I would never be a nurse again which was devastating for me. I was broken physically and mentally. After giving birth to my daughter in September 2017, my left ankle continued to get worse and my mobility was suffering. I reached out to my surgeon, who was a trauma surgeon, and he advised that there was nothing left that he could offer me. Frustrated yet motivated to get rid of my pain, I researched foot and ankle specialists in West Virginia. I stumbled upon Dr. Robert Santrock at WVU medicine in Morgantown, WV. He ordered an MRI and a CT scan both confirmed the worst case scenario, I had AVN of my talus. Dr. Santrock offered me two options: fusion or a total talus replacement (TTR). I had spent countless hours googling and researching talus fractures and I had never heard of such a thing. Maintaining what little range of motion I had left was very important to me so I decided to go for the TTR. On October 24, 2018 I had TTR at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. At this moment I am seven months post op. I am still in recovery but I am hopeful for the future. My goal is to return to work as a registered nurse. I have good days and bad days but I now have the peace of mind that my ankle joint is no longer at risk of collapse. I can walk barefooted in my home and with sturdy shoes I can play outside with my 20 month old toddler. My ROM has improved slightly, my dorsiflexion was 0 on a bad day and 1 on a good day before surgery, now it is a 5. The option of a 3D printed talus is one that every talus AVN sufferer should be allowed to choose. I feel fortunate to live in a country where I have this option and I was fortunate enough to have an insurance company that approved my surgery. Please consider adding the total talus replacement to covered services. This surgery is a tool that I am using to get my life back. Thank you for your time.
-Patient K.H., RN BSN
I am a 44 year old woman who 12 weeks ago had a total talus and total ankle replacement. Just days after my 41st birthday in September of 2015, my husband and I were in a horrible car accident that left me with a shattered right ankle. I was air lifted from the highway to Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston, MA. After assessing my injury, I left two weeks later with an external fixator on my right ankle. During that time, the doctors were not sure if I'd be able to keep my foot or not. I missed an entire year (school year) of work (I am a high school teacher). After three years of Physical therapy I was not gaining any dorsiflexion. My PT and I could not figure out why. I tried everything to gain dorsiflexion. I walked with a very noticeable limp and sometimes with a cane as well. It wasn't until July 2018 when I went to a doctor for a consult to see if I was a candidate for a total ankle replacement. At first glance and "regular xrays" I was a great candidate. The doctor sent me for a CT scan before we moved to the next step. Two weeks later I was called back to go over the results of my CT scan. It was then I was told my talus was split into two and is "dead" because of lack of blood flow to it. Now what? The doctor I saw told me he cannot help me but he knew of a doctor whom he just saw at a conference who works at Duke University that is 3D printing talus'. I made a call and made an appt with Dr. Selene Parekh at Duke University. (Side note, my insurance would not approve me, at first, to go to Duke. I was told that I live in New England and there MUST be a doctor who can do this. I saw two other doctors, one at Massachusetts General and the other at Brigham who both told me my only option was amputation. This was not an option for me at 43 years old.) My husband and I drove to North Carolina for my consult where Dr. Parekh told me a 3D printed talus and a total ankle replacement was the way to go. Three months later I was back in NC for my surgery. Dr. Parkeh performed by TAR/TTR. It's now 12 weeks later and I have more dorsiflexion than I've had since the accident. My first day back to PT after surgery I already had 5 degrees more dorsi than I had 6 weeks prior when I left. I can walk better now. Since I am only 12 weeks post surgery, I still have a slight limp and once I am able to work through some plantar fasciitis pain, my PT said I most likely will have no limp. I can wear shoes with a wedge or a small heel. I was told after the accident, I'd never wear heels again. I am so thankful for Dr. Parekh and his foresight to learn about 3D printing talus'. If I could not find a doctor in the United States to do it, I was ready to head to Japan to have it done there. I know they've been printing much longer than anyone in the US. I'm sorry I don't have longer outcome information but the first 12 weeks have been outstanding so far and I can't wait to see how the rest of my life will go.
-Patient T.M.


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