Additive Orthopaedics, LLC. has successfully treated a series of patients suffering from hammertoes with its recently FDA-cleared 3D printed hammertoe implant.
Annually, an estimated 1.1 million patients in the United States have procedures to treat hammertoes, an often painful deformity in the toes that causes them to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward.
A hammertoe is a contracture, or bending, of the toe at the first joint of the digit, called the proximal interphalangeal joint, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). This bending causes the toe to appear like an upside-down V when looked at from the side.
Any toe can be involved, but the condition usually affects the second through fifth toes, known as the lesser digits, the association reports. Hammertoes are more common in females than males.
There are two different types: Flexible hammertoes, which are less serious because they can be diagnosed and treated while still in the developmental stage; rigid hammertoes are more developed and more serious, often making surgery the usual course of treatment, according to APMA.
Treatment usually involves padding and taping, medication, orthodic devices, and surgical options.
“Our implant has properties and features only possible through the additive manufacturing process,” according to Greg Kowalczyk, president of Additive Orthopaedics.
The company is an early stage orthopaedic extremity device company specializing in additively manufactured surgical products. It previously closed its initial seed rounds and recently announced the opening of its second round of financing.
(Home page image by Anke Allaert / Wikimedia Commons)