A boy with a tumor on his spine, who could only muster the strength to stand for a few minutes at a time, has been given a new lease on life thanks to a 3D-printed bone for his neck.

In August, surgeons in China successfully implanted an artificial 3D-printed vertebra made of titanium powder into a 12-year-old bone cancer patient. The five-hour surgery at Peking University Third Hospital in Beijing, was a world first.

After spending the previous two months confined to a hospital bed, the boy named Minghao is recovering well.

(READ more from the Business Insider – WATCH video from China TV)

Photo: Liu Zhongjun, director of orthopaedics at Peking University Third Hospital, holding a 3D-printed vertebra – Story tip: Julia Frerichs, LMT


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