3D Systems helped to ease the pain during athlete Mark Weimer’s intense 15-hour spinal surgery.
Several years ago, Weimer lost his legs in a terrible construction accident in 1984, leaving him a paraplegic. Despite the odds, Weimer became a star player for the Colorado Avalanche Sled Hockey Team and the U.S. national Hockey team.
According to 3D Systems, this past summer, Weimer, “underwent a complex spinal surgery in July that was enabled by the planning, instrumentation and reference models delivered by 3D Systems to alleviate pain caused by spinal deterioration.”
The surgery was performed by Dr. George Frey of Mighty Oak Medical in Englewood, CO. According to 3D Systems, “3D Systems supported Dr. Frey in helping Mighty Oak Medical gain clearance and bring to market its FIREFLY® Technology for pedicle screw guidance.” The FIREFLY technology helped assure perfect pedicle screw placement during the surgery.
Although Weimer underwent surgery in the past for his spine, over time his remaining spinal disks and vertebrae deteriorated, which caused compression of his nerves and spinal cord. In 2014, he began to experience pain in his quads, leading to the recent surgery.
3D Systems created a 3-D model of Weimer’s spine so that Dr. Frey could better plan the surgery.
According to 3D Systems, “Using the digital representation of Weimer’s spine prepared by 3D Systems, biomedical engineers at Mighty Oak Medical determined the required trajectory of each pedicle screw and designed the associated surgical guides that would ensure accurate placement. These guides, along with a foot-long reference model of Weimer’s spine, were 3D printed by 3D Systems on a ProX® 800 Stereolithography (SLA) printer using a plastic material that can be sterilized for use in the operating room.”