All his life till now, double amputee Fahad Mohamad Ali, 25, from Dubai had been wearing wooden prosthetic legs experiencing severe pain on his hips. But everything changed for this paralympic champion on June 12 when he received the new pair of 3D prosthetic legs that ended his years of pain. He became the region’s first double amputee to wear 3D-printed prosthetic legs, which was given by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in partnership with Mediclinic, Mercuris and Immensa Technology Labs.
Fahad, a wheel chair racing champion, who currently works at Dewa said his life was transformed forever.
“The 3D prosthetic make me feel like I’ve got my legs back, it’s simply incredible. I can do more sports, and wear shorts without people staring at me”, said an elated Fahad.
Sebastian Giede, certified orthopedic with Mediclinic, said the field of 3D printing for prosthetic devices allows for high customisation of models that are designed using lightweight and strong materials, based on factors such as body weight, foot size and functionality.
With more than 25 years of experience in the field, Giede said 3D printing also provides great flexibility when it comes to replacement, in comparison to mass produced prosthetics.
Explaining the process Giede said “We conducted several 3D scans of the patient’s amputated legs. After that, we used a CAD software programme to design and modify the inner shape of the prosthesis. Then the test socket was 3D printed so that we could use it on the patient to control the size and make changes that will help provide the patient with maximum comfort and functional alignment.
The first 3D template printed in Dubai two years ago was a cast for a hand. And the first prosthetic printed for a patient was a leg for British expat Belinda Gatland who lost her leg in a horse-riding accident.
Belinda was the first amputee in the region to wear a completely 3D printed prosthetic leg as part of the DHA’s Year of Giving initiative in 2017.