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Mesa man receives first 3D-printed ankle replacement in Arizona

(Banner Health Photo)

PHOENIX — A 35-year-old Mesa man earlier this year became the first person in Arizona to undergo 3D-printed ankle replacement surgery.

In March, Elliott Munro underwent the surgery at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City after his physician suggested it as an option following months of severe ankle pain due to his leukemia.

Traditional solutions, like ankle fusion or replacement, weren’t options, and Munro’s right foot may have been amputated without the surgery.

The artificial ankle was carved from titanium using a 3D printer and was coated with a special titanium nitride coating, according to a press release.

“I just never thought I would be able to walk again, let alone be able to play catch with my kids,” Munro said in the release. “This truly has been life changing.”

Munro was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 11 years old.

A reoccurrence of the cancer at age 16 forced him to have two bone marrow transplants. Steroids administered to alleviate pain led to bone issues.

Munro was hospitalized in October 2018 for severe right ankle pain, which ultimately led to the March surgery.

Munro is in physical therapy and is expected to make a full recovery.

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