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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2009 Aug;90(2):603-18. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.32063.

Biocompatibility of total joint replacements: A review.

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The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5326, USA.


Total joint replacement is one of the most clinically successful, cost-effective surgical procedures. These operations have been shown to improve pain, function and mobility in patients with end-stage arthritis. However, joint replacements that will allow full, unrestricted, high impact activities and last the patient's lifetime have not yet been devised. This is due to biocompatibility issues related to material science, biomechanics, and host responses. In this review, three issues that are highly pertinent to biocompatibility of joint replacements are examined. These topics include how implants initially osseointegrate within bone, potential adverse effects of byproducts of wear that can lead to aseptic loosening and periprosthetic osteolysis, and the potential for new bearing surfaces to extend the lifetime of implants. A clear understanding of these important issues will facilitate the development of novel strategies to improve the longevity and function of implants for joint replacement in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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