Features August 2011 Issue

New Tool Detects Potential Joint Replacement Failure

Early detection of prosthesis loosening and delivery of a therapeutic agent to the site of inflammation may soon be available to doctors.

Doctors may soon have a tool for identifying orthopaedic implants that are in danger of becoming loose after joint replacement. A new study, a collaboration between the Hospital for Special Surgery (New York) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, shows that a minute delivery system containing special properties can be used to identify patients who are at risk for prosthesis failure and deliver drugs to halt the process. The most common reason for a failed joint replacement surgery is the loosening of a prosthesis over time.

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