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Man Receives First 3D Printed Tibia Replacement

Surgeons in Australia, in 2017, successfully performed a world-first transplant surgery. They installed a 3D printed tibia into the leg of Reuben Lichter, who faced losing his leg above the knee to amputation.

Lichter’s tibia began causing him intense pain and he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis. The disease infected his entire bone, causing it to gradually disintegrate. When offered the chance to undergo this experimental procedure, he agreed to an attempt to save his leg rather than opt for amputation.

Just two days after Lichter's son was born, he went to the hospital, where he had five operations over six months. After the final surgery the procedure was declared a success. Lichter is now doing well and doctors believe he will be walking in 18 months once he fully recovers. Mr. Lichter said his now eight-month-old son William would be walking before he does. “If there was a chance for me to save my leg and do the things I want to do with my son, then I was going to take it,” he said.

There are almost two million people living with limb loss in the US. Worldwide, those numbers are higher. This kind of bone transplant has the potential to help many of them avoid amputation and the lifelong pain and disability it can cause.

Possible Preaching Angle:

How much more profound is the hope God gives those infected by sin when he replaces a sinful heart with a new heart (Ezek. 36:26, Ps. 51:10), a corrupt nature with a new nature (Eph. 4:22-24), and a defiled mind with the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).


Karla Lant, “Man Receives World’s First 3D Printed Tibia Replacement,” Futurism.Com (9-9-17); Emily Pidgeon, “The man made on a 3D Printer,” Daily Mail (9-8-17)

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