Thursday, February 11, 2016

Attention, all bionics

I remember back when my father got artificial hips--they made him wait and wait because the hips only lasted so long and he wouldn't want a second operation in his lifetime.

Well, those artificial joints still have a lifespan, and this is a problem for seven million people in this country.

People are living longer and being very active on those new knees and hips.

Rush University Medical Center researchers are studying this. Total hip replacements last 15-25 years, but can fail in five yrs or less if the patient reacts to this insertion. Fifty thousand recipients need a do-over each year because of infection, instability or loosening of the joint.

And now corrosion from use is becoming a suspected culprit and ways to measure how much of the metal "wears off" are being explored.

The scientists are boring on why these things fail, looking back over recorded uses of these joints and the results that ensued.

There is also new technology to examine well-finctioning implants without damaging them.

More than 1000 people have already agreed to have their joints looked at after they die.

Extending their life is hard--they are already made from long-lasting materials such as titanium and cobalt-chromium-based alloys.

But a massive look at what's what here is a start.

I have two siblings with double hip replacements, in addition to my late father. So far, so good on them.

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