Aster RV Hospital, Bengaluru Based, Uses 3D Printing To Help Yemen Blast Victim Walk Again


AM Chronicle Editor

Aster RV Hospital doctors have been able to help Yemen blast victim, 37-year-old Kasim, walk independently again, post a complex hip reconstruction surgery. Kasim suffered devastating leg injuries in a 2018 bomb blast in Yemen. The surgery was conducted with the help of 3D printing technology.

At 33, Kasim had been at the peak of his age when he became victim to the terrible bomb blast incident, post which he has been in and out of hospitals looking for a permanent solution. The young man had undergone 23 surgeries in Yemen in the last 4 years. As a result of the injury and consequent surgeries, he was left with a fused hip and shortened left leg.

“I was suffering from depression. I had to use a prosthesis for my left leg so that it would touch the ground and additionally needed crutches to walk. I could not even use a wheelchair to move around as I couldn’t bend my hip properly to sit on it. Nobody was willing to give me a permanent job due to my disability. Doing simple things such as cooking, cleaning, bathing and even just sitting became a huge task”, Kasim said.

An X-Ray of Kasim's hip. Image - Aster RV Hospital
An X-Ray of Kasim’s hip. Image – Aster RV Hospital

His fused hip made it impossible for him to have full range of movements to his leg, leading to uro-genital health complications as he was unable to bend properly to maintain personal hygiene.

Kasim was referred to Aster RV Hospital by his friend who had undergone a total knee replacement surgery a year ago at the hospital. After a thorough evaluation the doctors decided to use 3D printing technology to assess and get an accurate extent of the internal hip joint damage. A complex primary hip reconstruction surgery was conducted on February 2 using specialized hip implants for the patient.

A 3D Printed Hip Model. Image - Aster RV Hospital
A 3D Printed Hip Model. Image – Aster RV Hospital

There was extensive damage to his hip and 3-D printing technology helped us to get a 3 dimensional view of the injured area and map out the best way to approach the damaged area, identify landmarks and structures in the deranged anatomy and accurately plan the fixation and rebuilding of the hip structure.

Kasim had lost the entire ball and socket of his hip and the remnant was fixed to his hip due to which no movement was possible. The repeated surgeries and loss of soft tissue changes the normal anatomy which made the surgery more difficult,” explained Dr. J.V Srinivas, Lead Consultant –Orthopedics, Aster RV Hospital.

The surgery was conducted over a period of four hours. Post successful surgery, Kasim underwent rehabilitation during which he re-learnt how to use his leg. His hip is now stable and can be moved around freely, returning to him to his previous independence. His stitches have been removed; he is now undergoing rehabilitation and plans to leave to his country.

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