23 February 2016
Researchers have developed a new biological hip joint replacement technique that promises to provide better outcomes than traditional methods.
A team from the University of Missouri has created a technique that involves using larger grafts with bevelled edges to provide a more precise fit. This is in contrast to standard procedure, which introduces donor tissue to the femur part via multiple small cylinder-shaped plugs of bone and cartilage to fill in a damaged area.
By instead utilising larger size-matched grafts to cover the area in need of repair, a higher standard of joint viability and structural integrity was observed in canine test subjects than could be achieved with smaller grafts.
Dr Brett Crist, an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, said: "By using one large graft, we reduced the number of seams for a smoother functioning joint. Bevelling the edges also created a better fitting repair that was less prone to cell death during implantation."
Generally, resurfacing a joint with donated bone and cartilage tissue is seen as a better option for young, active patients, as traditional metal and plastic components can begin to wear immediately, necessitating limited movements.
Posted by Philip Briggs
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