X-ray of wrist with implant

What are Implants? A Quick Look

Although your bone has the potential to regenerate and restore its properties, some fractures require therapeutic intervention for appropriate alignment and healing.1
Earlier healthcare professionals used just casts and splints to support and stabilize the bone from the outside. However, the development of sterile surgical methods has now enabled doctors to stabilize the bones internally with minimal risk of infection.2
During the surgery, fractured bones are aligned and brought together with help of implants, such as plates, screws, nails, and wires. Implant placement may improve recovery and reduce the risk of malunion (improper healing of fracture).2 

The success and survival of orthopedic medical implants depend on their stability. There are two forms of implant stability.3  
Primary Stability: It is the initial connection between your bone and the implant and is achieved when the implant is well-positioned in your bone. Factors that can affect primary stability are the type of bone, design of the implant, and surgical technique used.3
Secondary Stability: After the implant placement, the bone around it remodels, providing secondary stability.3
Several factors are considered while developing an implant, including the compatibility of implant material with your bone and body tissue, as well as mechanical characteristics such as strength, hardness, and elasticity.1
Orthopedic medical implants can either be permanent (E.g., hip, knee, or shoulder implant) or temporary (E.g., external fixators, wires, screws).4 

In some rare cases, people may get an implant-related infection.5 In case of any such events, consult your doctor immediately.


1. Kim T, See CW, Li X, et al. Orthopedic implants and devices for bone fractures and defects: Past, present, and perspective. Engineered Regeneration. 2020; 1:6-18
2. OrthoInfo. Internal Fixation for Fractures. [Internet] [Cited 25 Jan 2022] Available from: orthoinfo.aaos.org
3. Grzeskowiak RM, Schumacher J, Dhar MS, et al. Bone and Cartilage Interfaces With Orthopedic Implants: A Literature Review. Front Surg. 2020; 7: 601244.
4. USFDA. Implants and Prosthetics. [Internet] [Cited February 24, 2022] Available from: www.fda.gov
5. Ribeiro M, Monteiro FJ, Ferraz MP. Infection of orthopedic implants with emphasis on bacterial adhesion process and techniques used in studying bacterial-material interactions. Biomatter. 2012;2(4):176-94.