PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)--We're hearing more about 3-D printing and the variety of things those printers can create including replacement bones.
One Valley man is the first in the state to get a 3-D printed ankle replacement which doctors say was his only remaining option.
Elliot Munro is a two time cancer survivor and has been in remission for 17 years.
The treatment he underwent to kill the cancer left his bones severely damaged and deteriorating.
Dr. Jeff Holmes, a surgeon with the CORE Institute took on his case.
"When I started looking at Elliot, it ws a very unique case especially when I started looking at his MRI, CT scans, it's something you don't ever see. It's very rare and that was because of the amount of destruction," he said.
The destruction so bad traditional ankle replacement wasn't an option and neither was surgery to fuse the bones.
"The only other option you could think of was amputation to ease his pain," explained Dr. Holmes.
Munro and his wife did extensive research and found other people who had had success with the 3D option and approached doctor Holmes who agreed to do the procedure.
"It's a little scary, especially doing the first procedure. You don't know the long term outcomes, you don't know the short term outcomes," said Holmes.
But so far it seems to be a great fit.
Elliot has limited movement and continues with physical therapy.
In the end, he said he's grateful for the technology.
"This procedure has allowed me to not have a leg amputated which has given me the freedom to lead a normal life with my wife and four kids. It's been a second chance at life in that aspect so i'm super grateful for this opportunity."