Medicine

Ceramic hip-replacement device comes as a boon for patients

Prithivi Mohandas, director of Hip Arthroplasty( left) and Peter Valvekens ,Delta Motion design team, MIOT Hospitals, at a press conference in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo:R.Shivaji Rao  

Medical technology is constantly evolving and what was the best a few years ago is no longer good enough for patients. The latest to join that list is Delta Motion, a ceramic hip-replacement device.

In its current form, Delta Motion combines the advantages of good mobility, with the pluses of strength and additionally, it does not produce any debris that could be harmful to the body, Prithvi Mohandas, director, Hip Arthroplasty, MIOT Hospitals, said. While metal-on-metal joints were the rage a few years ago, recent medical wisdom has indicated several problems with using those devices.

The liberation of metal ions when one metal surface moves against the other is in very high concentrations within the first one and a half years. “Nearly 10,000 times the metal ions that one normally has in the body are generated by these metal joints and they remain in the blood. They are present in the breast milk and can even affect the chromosome,” Dr. Prithvi said. They are also known to cause pseudo tumours and also allergic reactions in implantees.

Therefore, these implants are not recommended for younger people, since they have to last longer. There are a substantial number of people within the 20-40 year age group who require hip-replacement surgery every year, he said.

The allergic reaction to the metal ions is more common in women, Dr. Prithvi explained.

For all these reasons, a large number of metal-on-metal implants fail and need to be revised within five years. There is sufficient evidence for this from across the world in several peer reviewed journals, he added. Ceramic turned out to be the alternative, as it does not produce debris.

The challenge, however, was to fortify the original alumina ceramic, considered to be slightly weak. Delta ceramic was the answer — it was already being used in the ship-building and automobile industry where its strength would come in handy.

The patient can look forward to an implant that produces no debris, is slightly larger in size, and gives instant stability.

It has the capacity to last 70-80 years easily and the patient can immediately go back to complete activity.

The procedure would cost up to Rs.1.5 lakh and the hospital, which has already completed a few cases, is examining financing options for the implant, Dr. Prithvi added.

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Printable version | Jan 13, 2021 7:33:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/medicine-and-research/Ceramic-hip-replacement-device-comes-as-a-boon-for-patients/article15508795.ece

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