3D Printing Helps Rebuild Motorcyclist's Crushed Face

By Gary Cutlack on at

Despite wearing a helmet, Cardiff biker Stephen Power managed to break his cheek bones, upper jaw, nose and fracture his skull in an accident in 2012, one that required a four-month hospital stay as part of his recovery. Now, to patch his face up, doctors are inserting 3D printed parts.

CT scans were used to create a symmetrical 3D model of how his complete face looked before it was smashed out of shape, with the required replacements for broken bits of bone printed out and held into place with a printed titanium implant. The result of the op, which required his cheekbones to be re-broken by surgeons as part of the repair job, is "totally life changing."

The extremely graphic BBC report shows how Power's face was effectively peeled away from his skull, with a surgeon screwing the 3D parts onto the surviving parts of his facial bones with a rather large screwdriver. It's not entirely pleasant viewing. [BBC]