Since the 1950s, the medical domain has been using orthopedic implants for a wide range of medical applications, including shoulder hip sockets, joints, and hearing aids. The most typical material utilized for orthopedic implants is titanium. This sturdy, corrosion-resistant element's inherent qualities make it dependable, 100 percent biocompatible and durable.
Titanium naturally bonds with the bone around it, promoting osseointegration without needing additional adhesive. That also means you can have implants in your body as long as you take good post-surgery care and choose the best implant material and orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Derek L. Hill, D.O.
Titanium implants are more durable than many other materials, can withstand high energy forces without breaking, and don't react to body surroundings. If you’re scheduled for a knee, shoulder, or hip implant surgery, you should learn about the durability of the medical device.
Brief History of Orthopedic Implants
Humans have used metallic materials for more than a century to repair fractures and restore lost body parts. The medical industry no longer uses materials such as lead, aluminum, silver, and gold since they are proven insufficient for long-term purposes.
Implants made of steel, iron, nickel, copper, and zinc used between the 1920s and 1950s caused negative physiological effects. In the 1940s, titanium first became popular in the dental business, and in the 1950s, it swiftly made its way into orthopedics.
Properties of Titanium Alloys That Make Them the Best Choice for Orthopedic Implants
Come in pure form
Has low density and high strength
Has a high level of corrosion resistance
Moreover, this orthopedic implant material is non-toxic and non-magnetic. That makes it particularly beneficial for biomedical applications. Both its elastic modulus and thermal expansion coefficient are comparable to human bone. When malleability and ductility are crucial, pure titanium doctors employ the most corrosive-resistant type of titanium available on the medical market.
Are Orthopedic Implants Permanent?
When patients opt for a high-grade orthopedic implant and follow post-surgery care, they can last long. Put simply, most joint replacements are permanent and have a design to last a lifetime. Recent statistics show that over 93 percent of knee replacements last 15 years, and 80 percent last 25 years.
However, implant removal after fracture healing is one of the controversial issues. There are many cases in which patients had to remove their orthopedic implants due to various complications.
Patients with implants should generally have them removed if they experience symptoms linked to the implants themselves. Removing plates from the lower extremities is advisable because they are stress-shielding devices.
Although implants made of titanium are normally expected to survive 10 years or longer, lifespan is not guaranteed, and failure to integrate into the bone for long-term survival frequently occurs. Revision surgery is riskier, more expensive, and may result in complications.
A biocompatible material doesn’t poison or harm the human body or living tissues, yet certain people may be intolerant of the metal. With titanium implants, they may develop hypersensitivity or have an allergic reaction.
Orthopedic implants made of titanium are long-lasting. However, many people experience complications and may need implant removal after a certain time. Regardless of why you want your implants removed, consult an experienced surgeon like Dr. Hill for an expert opinion.