Dr. Jeffrey Sawyer uses 3D printing technique to treat spinal muscular atrophy

Spine

Memphis, Tenn.-based Jeffrey Sawyer, MD, is taking a novel approach to treating spinal deformities, local news affiliate WMC5 reports.

Dr. Sawyer, a spine surgeon with Campbell Clinic, recently used a 3D printing surgical technique to treat a 14-year-old patient with spinal muscular atrophy.

A model of the patient's spine is created, which surgeons use to calculate where the screws need to be placed to straighten the spine.

"You put this on your desk, you look at it every day for a week, and by the time you get to surgery, you've already seen it seven times," Dr. Sawyer told WMC5 in a Nov. 12 interview. "These models are life-size and so when we get into surgery, we see exactly what we've seen before." 

Campbell Clinic and Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis are the first two facilities to use the novel approach in the Mid-South, according to Dr. Sawyer.

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