Breakthrough could prevent hip implant replacement

Breakthrough could prevent hip implant replacement
New research could prevent secondary hip replacements

Hip implants rely on the normal functioning of bone cells to achieve fixation of the implant with the bone. However, small metal particles released from hip implants, due to friction between the moving surfaces, have been shown to be toxic to the surrounding bone cells.

This causes the implant to loosen in the bone and often leads to patients requiring second surgery to replace the failed implant.

Using X-ray light from the Diamond Light Source, the UK's synchrotron science facility at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, researchers were able to map the locations of metals inside bone cells.

The findings, published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, show that the location of the metals that are released from implants is different inside bone building and bone destroying cells.

Dr Alison Gartland, Senior Lecture from the University's Academic Unit of Bone Biology, said: "The fact that we found in different places within the two types of bone cells suggest that they get into the cells by separate ways.

"When investigating how the metals entered bone cells we found that when they blocked a molecule called the P2X7 receptor using a specific drug, the entry of metals into the was reduced.

"These results are really exciting because, if we can prevent the entry of the into these cells, we can hopefully prevent the metal joint from failing."

Over the last decade, it is estimated that nearly half a million hips have been replaced in England and Wales as a result of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in adults, affecting nearly eight million people in the UK alone. Surgical replacement of the joint using artificial metal implants is the most effective way to restore activity and reduce pain and disability in osteoarthritis sufferers.


Explore further

Skin tests catch metal sensitivity before joint replacement

Citation: Breakthrough could prevent hip implant replacement (2014, September 30) retrieved 22 September 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-09-breakthrough-hip-implant.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more