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The builder Ryan Chandler is worried that he will lose one foot.
Bone cancer ate a hole in his heel, making it difficult for him to walk.
But in July, 71-year-
The veteran traveled from Victoria's Lucerne Glen to Melbourne for groundbreaking surgery using a titanium heel made with a 3D printer.
'I never knew the surgery would be so successful or so important,' Chandler said . '.
'I think this is probably the first time Victoria has done this.
'I didn't realize it would be the first time in the world.
'Chandler's feet have been bothering him for years, but he didn't know he had cancer in his Achilles tendon until April.
People with this cancer often lose their legs below their knees because it is difficult to replace the heel.
'I 've been bored for six or seven years,' Chandler said . '
'I have been to physical therapists, foot doctors and acupuncture doctors.
I tried everything.
Then I gave up halfway.
Finally, in x-
Ray was introduced at a local hospital by Professor Peter Choong, surgeon at St. Vincent's Hospital, who is developing 3D printing technology.
'Other poor guys who have had this cancer may have lost their feet,' Chandler said . '.
'But I still have to go. it looks OK.
' team led by Professor Choong used a scan of Chandler's left heel bone to create a 3D image of his right heel bone. Melbourne-
An anatomical structure based on the implant manufacturer was introduced and a mirror was created
Image Design to help create a new heel.
CSIRO uses its statusof-the-
Art Arcam 3D printer builds implants from titanium.
Professor Choong, orthopaedic director at St. Vincent, was recognized international for his expertise and research in bone and soft tissue cancer.
'This is very exciting,' Dr. Choong said . '.
'This is a good example of how advances in science and technology and research can meet the needs of patients.
'Dr. Choong said it took him many years to dream of such an operation.
'This idea is one of the things we often fantasize about --
Can I make exactly the same thing as a patient that anyone in my field often thinks about?
'Then you see the technology and it clicks.
'This is very helpful in this particular case, because the bones taken out are very complex in shape and function.
'So there's something that can be copied, which makes a big difference in what we can actually achieve.