Mark Addleman

31 January 2024

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Shilo, a soldier serving in Givati and attending officers’ school, sustained a complicated injury during the intense battle in Gaza, resulting in his knee shattering; Hadassah Hospital used advanced 3D printing technology, meticulously recreating his knee based on the structure of his healthy one.


Shilo  received orders on Saturday to deploy to the Gaza border region to support combat operations in the local communities. “We spent the weekend at the base, and early the next morning, we were mobilized to the kibbutzim,” he recalls.


After two intense weeks of fighting in the kibbutzim and another month of rigorous training and certification at the IDF’s Training Base, they entered the Gaza Strip. “We arrived in the Jabaliya neighbourhood, an area that had not yet been accessed by IDF forces. The fighting there posed greater challenges due to the presence of a large civilian population, including terrorists.”


During one of the sweeps, Shilo bravely led the way into a building, but the soldiers sensed something was awry. After conducting thorough searches on the first floor, they proceeded to the second floor. “As I attempted to open the door, I encountered resistance. I quickly identified a barrel blocking the door. I got permission from the commanding officer to engage in fire, as the mission required discretion. I opened fire, and within seconds, they retaliated, with bullets narrowly missing us.”


The soldier accompanying Shilo was injured, and they both retreated finding themselves in a narrow alley outside the building. Suddenly, a barrage of gunfire was unleashed. Shilo recounts, “There were intense waves of gunfire. A bullet struck my weapon, and then I was shot in the leg and fell to the ground. I found myself stranded alone in the middle of the alley, shouting to alert others that I was injured. Realizing that my position posed a danger to my comrades, I made the decision to crawl back on my own to safety.”


After successfully rescuing himself, with his comrades providing covering fire, he was swiftly evacuated by helicopter to Hadassah. “Throughout the helicopter ride, I remained conscious. The pain in my leg was excruciating, and I feared I might lose it, but I felt a comforting presence as if someone were holding my hand. My friends stayed by my side until I arrived at the hospital.”


Shilo’s injury was severe; a bullet had penetrated his leg, shattering his knee. At Hadassah, he received treatment and underwent surgery by a team of expert doctors who utilized groundbreaking technology. They constructed a three-dimensional model of his shattered knee based on the unaffected second knee.


“The surgery was performed with great precision and was highly successful,” says Prof. Yoram Weil, Director of Hadassah’s Orthopaedic Trauma Unit at. “Together with Dr. Alona Katsir, after assembling the model, we identified a missing piece in the upper bone. Using the customized three-dimensional template we created, we extracted a bone from the pelvis to fill the gap and achieve proper alignment for optimal fracture healing. The model helped us restore the fracture and achieve a very high level of accuracy. Shilo is already using his knee well. He is expected to undergo further surgery, and in a few months, the fracture will heal, allowing him to fully recover.”


Shilo, who has begun rehabilitation and physical therapy in Hadassah’s orthopaedic department, expressed optimism about his progress. He shared, “I initially feared losing my leg, but fortunately, the situation has taken a completely different turn, and my leg is now healing. I am fortunate to have been in the hands of a skilled medical team that specializes in bone reconstruction and regeneration. It’s incredible to think that I could have ended up without a knee. Now, my focus is on completing the remaining surgeries and fully recovering. ”


Editor’s Notes:
An excerpt from an article by Liran Tamari published in

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