Patient specific implants for amputation prostheses: Design, manufacture and analysis.

Devasconcellos P, Balla VK, Bose S, Fugazzi R, Dernell WS, Bandyopadhyay A.
2012 Jul

Objectives: To design, manufacture and analyze custom implants with functional gradation in macrostructure for attachment of amputation prostheses. Methods: The external shape of the implant was designed by extracting geometrical data of canine cadavers from computed tomography (CT) scans to suit the bone cavity. Three generations of implant designs were developed and were optimized with the help of fit/fill and mechanical performance of implant-cadaver bone assembly using CT analysis and compression testing, respectively. A final optimized, custom Ti6Al4V alloy amputation implant, with approximately 25% porosity in the proximal region and approximaltely zero percent porosity in the distal region, was fabricated using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS™) - a laser based additive manufacturing technology. Results: The proposed design changes in the second generation designs, in terms of refining thresholds, increased the average fill of the bone cavity from 58% to 83%. Addition of a flange between the stem and the head in the second generation designs resulted in more than a seven-fold increase in the compressive load carrying capacity of the assembly. Application of LENS™ in the fabrication of present custom fit Ti6Al4V alloy implants enabled incorporation of 20 to 30% porosity in the proximal region and one to two percent residual porosity in the distal portion of the implant. Clinical significance: Patient specific prostheses having direct connection to the skeletal structure can potentially aid in problems related to load transfer and proprioception in amputees. Furthermore, application of LENS™ in the fabrication of custom implants can be faster to incorporate site specific porosity and gradients for improving long-term stability.