What are the types of orthopedic implants?
Types of Orthopedic Implants
A traumatic injury from an accident, or degeneration of a joint or bone over time from a chronic medical condition might require the use of an orthopedic implant to stabilize the muscular system, improve mobility and flexibility. An orthopedic implant can be defined as a device which is manufactured to replace a joint, bone, or cartilage due to damage or deformity. You can distinguish the orthopedic implants by their type of material and the type of tissue it will replace.
Because of their incredible strength and toughness, titanium is one of the most used materials to manufacture orthopedic implants. Metal alloys are also used in prosthetics including hips and knee replacements. Bone screws and bone plates are also manufactured using metal alloys.
Bioceramics resemble actual bones in a particular way - this characteristic aids surgeons in replacing degenerative tissue and bone due to osteoporosis and other issues. Elderly people benefit most from implants made with bioceramics.
Polymers are particularly useful in mimicking cartilage or ligaments that may have degenerated over time or after significant trauma. A polymer can be used to adapt to the body’s tissue. Total hip and joint replacements are just some of the instances where polymers help the most.
You can also distinguish the orthopedic implants by device types and the most common types of orthopedic implants are plates, screws, nails, rods, wires, and pins. These devices are used to accomplish surgical implantation of fixtures to hold together the fracture fragments. We will discuss here the three most common types of orthopedic implants - Screws, plates, and prostheses.
Bone or orthopedic screws look almost identical to the screws you might find at a hardware store. The orthopedic screws can have either a flat or Phillips head, and are used to tighten up damaged areas. Orthopedic surgeries are impossible without the use of orthopedic screws. The bone heals faster if the fractures are pressed together firmly by orthopedic screws. The other advantage of these screws is that they protect the fractured bone from bending, getting rotated, and trivial loading forces. Post surgery/fixation, screws are there to stay.
Orthopedic screws can be divided into three common types: Cortical screws, Cancellous screws and Cannulated screws. And, there are three materials used in making an orthopedic screw, namely: Stainless Steel, Titanium and Bio-absorbable materials.
Orthopedic plate is screwed onto a bone, a joint or several bone segments and can be used to reduce a bone fracture or correct an orthopedic deformity. They were used for the first time to fix long bone fractures in 1886, and since then remains the most successful solution for fractures, reconstruction and stability. However, the structure and materials of bone plates have gone through a long evolution to facilitate the bone healing requirements under proper biomechanical microenvironment.
There are three main types of bone plate: compression plates, arthrodesis plates and osteotomy plates. Compression plates are used for fractured bones and Osteotomy plates not only correct certain orthopedic deformities, but are also used for bone lengthening. Most of the plates have increased with periarticular design and locking holes and the surgeon can decide the screw type, e.g. locking or non-locking, depending on the fracture site and pattern. There are locking bone plates that are threaded at the screw holes, and non-locking compression plates that provide the greater angulation when screwing them in.
Orthopedic prosthetic implants are used to replace missing joints or bones, or to provide support to a damaged bone. Most commonly they are used for knees and hips to allow the patients to regain full range of motion, pain-free, in a relatively shorter period of time. In a few cases, prostheses can replace certain parts of a joint bone entirely or suitable prosthetic material can be mixed with healthy bone to replace diseased or damaged bone.
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