Chinese Man Loses Half His Skull in Fall – Doctors to Return Him to Normal with 3D Printed Titanium Mesh
For a 46-year old Chinese man, named Hu, he was just going about a typical job on a construction site about 10 months ago, when he fell 3 stories to the ground, severely damaging his head, skull, and brain. Hu was left with a disfigured upper portion of his head, as a large portion of his brain and skull were completely removed. People in his neighborhood would jokingly call him ‘Half Headman’, and he had become the brute of some other jokes. All in all, Hu had lost a 14cm × 9cm section of his skull. Because of brain damage that he suffered, Hu has severe vision damage, particularly in his left eye, and also can not write or speak. However, his wife says that he can understand what people are saying to and about him. The part of his brain responsible for walking was mostly unaffected, so he has little problem getting around. Doctors at the Xijing Hospital, located in the ancient Chinese city of Xi’an, have determined that Hu is suffering from post-traumatic skull defects, traumatic aphasia, limited motor function, left ptosis with vision loss, and traumatic aphasia. He is also experiencing a severe case of double vision, referred to as diplopia.
Surgion MaoGuo Shu, of Xijing Hospital, who has seen a vast array of head and skull injuries, says that cases like Hu’s are very rare, and finding a solution to fix the damaged skull is very complex and difficult. To try and come up with a solution, the hospital brought in dozens of experts in the field. What they came up with was an idea for a 3D printed titanium mesh which would cover Hu’s brain and help make his skull look normal again. Thankfully for Hu, he won’t have to pay a dime for the surgery, as the hospital is covering the cost, and an American company, Stryker has agreed to pay for the 3D printing and materials used in the printing process.