Getting An Implant? Here Is Everything You Need To Know

In case of severe fractures, orthopedic implants are used for realignment and fixation of the fractured bone.1 Learning about the different types of implants can help you understand your treatment options better. 

Commonly Used Implants in Bone Healing

Bone plate implant

Bone Plates

Bone plates bring broken ends of your bones together to minimize the fracture and restrain movement, allowing the fractured site to rest and heal. These are the most common implant attached to the fractured bone with the help of a screw.1

Bone screw implants

Bone Screws

Screws can be used to fix the bones internally. They may be used alone or in combination with other orthopedic devices to provide internal fixation.1

Hip implant

Prostheses

Prostheses are commonly used for knee and hip replacement surgeries. It is generally used to reduce pain, improve movement, and enhance the quality of life.2

Now let us look at three of the most common types of trauma implant materials.

Metal Alloys
Metal alloys are widely used for orthopedic procedures. Stainless steel, pure titanium, and titanium-aluminium-niobium alloys, are commonly used biomaterials for fracture fixation. These metals are widely used due to their notable mechanical properties that are required to achieve fracture stabilization.3,4 

Ceramics
Ceramic implants are often used by surgeons because of their considerable strength. Although their use in fracture fixation is limited, ceramics are widely used in joint replacement surgeries.5,6  

Polymers
Polymers are used mainly because they can be easily modified into different forms and have higher biocompatibility.1,7 Moreover, polymers closely resemble human tissue components, such as collagen.8 In orthopedics, polymers are used as bone cement and joint prostheses.2

What To Ask Your Doctor Before Getting An Implant?

You can ask your doctor the following questions:

  • What kind of implant will be used?
  • What are the expected health benefits and risks of using this implant?
  • How long will the implant stay in the body? 

According to the AO principle the objectives fracture management objectives are9

  • Restoration of the joint
  • Stabilizing fracture
  • Preserving blood supply to the fracture site
  • Early movement of the limb and patient

However, implant material plays a crucial role in achieving satisfactory clinical outcomes.5 

References

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. Cleveland Clinic. Arthroplasty (Joint Replacement). [Internet] [Cited 02 May 2022] Available from: 
my.clevelandclinic.org
3. J.R. Davis. Handbook of Materials for Medical Devices. ASM International. 2013. Available at: www.asminternational.org
4. AO Principles of Fracture Management. Implants and materials in fracture fixation. [Internet] [Cited 17 May 2022] Available at: cms.aot-start.org
5. Saini M, Singh Y, Arora P, et al. Implant biomaterials: A comprehensive review. World J Clin Cases. 2015;3(1):52–57. 
6. Hamadouche M & Sedel L. Ceramics in orthopaedics. The Journal of bone and joint surgery. British volume. 2000. 82. 1095-9. 10.1302/0301-620X.82B8.11744.
7. Anahita Rohani Shirvan, Alireza Nouri, Cuie Wen, 12 - Structural polymer biomaterials, Editor(s): Cuie Wen, In Woodhead Publishing Series in Biomaterials, Structural Biomaterials, Woodhead Publishing, 2021, Pages 395-439.
8. Park J.B. Polymeric Implant Materials. In: Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Springer, Boston, MA. 1984. Park J.B. (1984) Polymeric Implant Materials. In: Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Springer, Boston, MA. doi.org
9. AO Trauma. AO Philosophy and Evolution. [Internet] [Cited 02 May 2022]. Available from: cms.aot-start.org

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