Ceramic Resurfacing Prosthesis for the Hip Joint
The hip resurfacing prosthesis currently used in surgeries is made from an alloy consisting of cobalt, chromium and molybdenum. But this metal is not tolerated well by all patients. Through the Ceramic Bonepreserver project, Fraunhofer IKTS has developed a new ceramic resurfacing prosthesis with a higher biocompatibility.
Hip joint operations are one of the most common procedures at German hospitals. In fact, according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, approximately 220,000 artificial hip joints are implanted each year, generally due to accidents and the wear typically experienced by older people.
An alloy consisting of cobalt, chromium and molybdenum is one of the most common materials used. However, metal abrasion often leads to issues such as the dreaded condition metallosis, with the patient ultimately suffering from irritation, allergic reactions, infections or even pseudotumors. Metal ions can also be detected in blood and tissue. If worst comes to worst, the patient may have to undergo another operation and have the prosthesis removed.
An innovative resurfacing prosthesis based on ceramic is much more biocompatible, as ceramic does not cause any allergic reactions or infections. The prosthesis was developed by the Fraunhofer IKTS as part of the Ceramic Bonepreserver joint project, a collaboration with medical devices manufacturer Mathys Orthopädie.
Bone-preserving reconstruction for better biocompatibility
In addition to high biocompatibility, the metal-free resurfacing prosthesis also offers further benefits. “The ceramic resurfacing prosthesis enables bone-preserving endoprosthetic reconstruction of the hip joint,” explains Project Manager Martina Johannes of Fraunhofer IKTS at the Hermsdorf location.
This innovative resurfacing prosthesis is a combination of femoral cap and monobloc acetabulum. During the surgery, the femoral cap is implanted into the femur, and its counterpart, the acetabulum, anchored in the hip bone. The surfaces that will ultimately be enclosed by bone are structured to improve bone cell adherence. In contrast, the contact area of the artificial joint between the acetabulum and ball element of the femoral cap is completely smooth to enable effortless and seamless movement of the leg.