Dr HT Chow talks about cervical facet joint arthritis on Hong Kong Satellite TV Health Programme
Our orthopaedic surgeons Dr Terence Chan talked about knee osteoarthritis in SCMP
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Our orthopaedic surgeons Dr KL Liu talk about children scoliosis in SCMP
Dr Jason Brockwell talked about problems and treatments of hip arthritis in SCMP
Our orthopaedic surgeons Dr Jason Brockwell talked about problems and treatments of hip arthritis.
Please click here for the hip arthritis article interviewing our hip & pelvic surgeon Dr Jason Brockwell.
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Our orthopaedics surgeon Dr KL Liu talks about scoliosis on iKid magazine (Chinese only)
Our orthopaedic surgeon Dr KL Liu talks about scoliosis on iKid Magazine <Issue 61> (Chinese only).
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RTHK interview with our orthopaedic surgeon Dr KL Liu
Our orthopaedic surgeon Dr KL Liu was interviewed by RTHK 1 and talked about 3D Printing Technology in Lower Limb Deformity Correction Surgery (in Cantonese).
If you wish to know more about this topic, please click here for the full article.
Hong Kong's First Applications of 3D Printing Technology in Lower Limb Deformity Correction Surgery
Press Release: HONG KONG'S FIRST APPLICATIONS OF 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY IN LOWER LIMB DEFORMITY CORRECTION SURGERY - ENHANCING SURGERY PRECISION AND PATIENT RECOVERY
3D printing used in treatment of Hong Kong patients with bow legs (South China Morning Post, 20 January 2015)
HONG KONG' S FIRST APPLICATIONS OF 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY IN LOWER LIMB DEFORMITY CORRECTION SURGERY
ENHANCING SURGERY PRECISION AND PATIENT RECOVERY
(Hong Kong, 19 January 2015) Congenital bow-legs or acquired lower-limb deformity bring severe impacts on one's quality of life, without clinical intervention, the problem could worsen and hinder mobility significantly. The recent introduction of the application of 3D printing technology represents a major breakthrough in lower-limb deformity correction. Not only does it help in ensuring high levels of precision, it also substantially shortens hospital stay and recovery time.
Traditional Lower Limb Correction Surgeries Require External Fixation Frames
According to Dr Liu King-lok, Clinical Assistant Professor (Honorary) of Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Specialist in Orthopaedics and Traumatology, deformity correction of the lower limbs primarily focuses on the femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone), by cutting off a wedge of bone and repositioning the limbs to the correct alignment, proper functionality can be restored.
After the surgery, patients would be required to wear an external fixation frame for approximately 6 to 12 months, with pins piercing through the skin to the bone for stabilisation.
Dr Liu King-lok developed an appreciation for the application of 3-Dimensional printing technology while practicing orthopaedics in children. In recent years, he has performed Hong Kong's first-ever series of 3D-printing-assisted lower limb corrective osteotomy on 4 patients, greatly enhancing the efficacy and precision of such surgery.
3D-Printed Patient-Specific Instrument Allows Precise Cutting and Realignment of Bones
Dr Liu King-lok explains, the steps involved in 3D-printing assisted lower limb correction are as follows: First, the patient has to go through a detailed 3-Dimensional computer scan, where the surgeon assesses the extent of the deformity through the 3D images generated, then fabricate the patient-specific instrument required for the corrective procedure.
These patient-specific instruments serve multiple functions which include showing clear marks as cutting guidelines, and securing the fixation of bones after osteotomy. This results in great accuracy in cutting and realignment of bones. The final step is the internal fixation of plates and screws, the surgery would be complete. The instrument would be removed in piecemeal throughout the surgery.
Discharge from Hospital Possibly 4 Days after Surgery, Significant Improvement in Patient Recovery.
Dr Liu King-lok states that the new technique allows the surgeon to conduct trials and simulated operations based on the data obtained from the patient scans, and print a real size 3D bone model for rehearsal. The patient-specific instrument can be adjusted if necessary. The multiple functionalities of the patient-specific instrument also improves the efficiency of the surgery by reducing the amount of time required to ascertain the correct cutting and realignment positions.
Without the need to wear external fixation frames, the range of motion in the patient's knees increases extensively. While traditional methods would sometimes require hospitalisation in excess of 200 days, patient could now be discharged as soon as 4 days after the surgery; with the complete recovery shortened from 12 months to as fast as one month, the patient could resume their ordinary lives much earlier.
24-year old Ann was the first patient in Hong Kong who underwent the 3D printing assisted lower limb correction surgery on both limbs. She suffered from rickets caused by deficiency of phosphorus and vitamin D, resulting in Genu Varum (bowlegs). And while she did not care much about other people's prying eyes, the deformity greatly hampered her mobility. As a result of incorrect weight distribution, simply walking for any appreciable period of time would cause severe pain in her ankles.
On 7 March 2014, Ann underwent the 3D printing-assisted correction surgery on her right leg. Since the condition of her right leg was more severe, it was the first of the two limbs to undergo the surgery. The left leg went through the same procedure two weeks later. In both occasions, she was able to walk with an assistive aid the day after the surgery. Ann stated that her legs are much straighter than they used to be, and she didn't have to wear external fixation frames or clean the wound on a daily basis. After only two months of physical therapy, she was completely recovered and returned to work.