3D Printing and Treating Heel Deformity from Nerve Disease

Better Treatment Approaches Needed for Correction of Deformities from Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT)

In what was termed one of 6 “game changer” studies, researchers from Cedars-Sinai reported that the 3 most common procedures for treating heel deformities are not effective in correcting the problem. The study examined 18 3D prints of a patient’s heel to assess the most common treatments for Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, a genetic neuromuscular condition that destroys long nerves in the hands and feet. Heel bone deformity frequently presents in patients with CMT, a debilitating effect of the disease. The team’s conclusions were presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The study used a CAT scan of the patient’s heel to derive 3D prints that were then used to compare the results of 3 different surgical interventions to correct the bone deformity. None of the 3 were found to provide satisfactory outcomes. Study lead author Glenn Pfeffer, MD, commented, “Ultimately our findings offer hope for better techniques to help patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease live a better quality of life.” He added that his team plans to use the 3D modelling technique in additional research to evaluate and identify these better treatment approaches.

Read a news story about the findings here.

The session abstract may be read here.

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