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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Surgeons replace a 12-year-old's cancerous vertebra with a 3D-printed implant

•, By Nick Lavars
And when you consider the recent spate of groundbreaking medical procedures, it is pretty easy to see why. The latest surgery brought to you by the seemingly endless possibilities of 3D-printing comes at the hands of doctors at China's Peking University Third Hospital, who produced a custom implant to replace a cancerous vertebra in the neck of a 12-year-old boy.

Minghao (a pseudonym) didn't feel much pain when he headed a soccer ball during a match with his friends. But waking up the next morning with a stiff, aching neck offered an early sign that something was not quite right. One month after the incident, Minghao's entire body went numb, leading spinal experts to perform a biopsy and ultimately diagnose him with a malignant tumor on the second vertebra in his neck.

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