If you’ve ever suffered a traumatic injury from an accident, or degeneration of a joint or bone over time from a chronic medical condition, an orthopedic implant might be needed to stabilize your muscular system, and improve your mobility and flexibility.
An orthopedic implant is a manufactured device designed to replace a joint, bone, or cartilage due to damage or deformity – such as from breaking a leg, losing a limb, or a congenital defect. Your doctor’s decision to replace a damaged natural part with a manufactured medical device like an orthopedic implant is not an easy one, as there are always risks involved with surgery.
But the benefits might outweigh those risks. For example, without an implant or prosthetic, a patient may be confined to a wheelchair when the ability to walk again is still completely possible.
Types of orthopedic implants are distinguished by their type of material and the type of tissue it will replace.
Metal alloys, such as titanium, have been and continue to be one of the most used materials for orthopedic implants. Known for their incredible strength and toughness, they last a long time before they need to be replaced, upwards of 10 years.
The most common orthopedic use for metal alloys is in prosthetics – including prosthetic hips and knee replacements. Metal alloys are also used in bone screws and bone plates.
As bones become more fragile and vulnerable to the aging process, the need for a material to replace them becomes crucial. Bioceramics, because of a particular resemblance to actual bone, is a material that aids surgeons in replacing degenerative tissue and bone due to osteoporosis and other issues.
Polymers help where other implant materials cannot. These materials are particularly useful in mimicking cartilage or ligaments that may have degenerated over time or after significant trauma. Total hip and joint replacements are just some of the instances in which a polymer can be used to adapt to the body’s tissue.
Orthopedic Care in San Antonio
If you would like to learn more about orthopedic implants, your options for replacing a prosthetic, or just to get a second opinion, speak to the experts at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine.
Our board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians are here to focus on your total well-being and to help restore your body to full function. Call us today at (210) 692-7400, or request an appointment online.