MU University Hospital Using 3D Printing to Aid Spinal Surgeries

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COLUMBIA - University Hospital in Columbia has taken a new approach to treating and operating on some spinal defects and disabilities. The hospital has teamed up with MU's 3D printing lab to make models of patients' spines for doctors to plan surgeries. 

Doctors at the hospital used to only make a 3D model on a computer. Using the printing technology, however, doctors are now able to look at models of individual patients spines they can touch, hold, and even cut to plan surgeries. 

Dr. Craig Kuhns has worked with the models first hand and said the process makes planning spinal surgeries more efficient.  "I think the revolutionary part is that it's making it safer, it's making the outcomes better. And both those things are really important," Kuhns said.