What are trauma implants?
What are trauma implants? Materials used to make these implants
Also known as osteosynthetic implants, trauma implants offer orthopedic surgeons ways for precise bone fixation. Every implant has a specific indication which depends on various parameters such as bone size. The objective, generally, is to fit these trauma implants into the required position with the bone so that the bone grows into the implant to enhance the strength. Many times these implants are also cemented for adhesion.
The products used to fix bones are generally classified in these categories - Bone Plates, Bone Screws, Interlocking Nails, Pins & Wires, Hip Prosthesis, Spinal Implants and CMF Implants. Trauma implants play a significant role in repairing internal fractures and also replacing damaged joints.
Mostly available in pure titanium (or titanium alloys such as Ti-6AI-4V or Ti-6AL-7Nb) and stainless steel, trauma implants are used in fixation of bone fractures. These implants may be further processed with plastic materials. Metallic structures provide power and strength to the implants, while the plastic material functions as a cartilage. The manufacturing of trauma implants are subject to strict performance guidelines and reliability standards. Therefore, the selection of the material depends on the specific performance attributes of the implants being produced. The selected material must act as bone stabilizers and support healing post surgery. Since material selection can impact the performance, the following guidelines should be followed:
Biocompatibility – This is probably one of the most important aspects. The material of the trauma implants must prevent inflammation because of any bacterial contamination. It should be corrosion resistant in order to prevent reaction with bodily fluids.
Minimum or without Osseointegration - Once the bone has healed and whenever there is a need to remove the implant, it should be possible without any complications. The removal of implants is a key factor for the kids and therefore the material must offer minimum or no osseointegration.
High Ductility – Since the bone plates' contours may have to be adapted to the contours of the bone before implant, the ductility of bone plates is important.
Smooth and easy gliding - Tendons must smoothly glide over a bone plate without being damaged.
High Tensile Strength – Trauma and specifically spinal implants are exposed to high tensile and bending loads and therefore must be able to withstand the related forces.
Elasticity – The material of the implants must facilitate relatively low modules of elasticity. In order to reduce the amount of stress shielding, the implant must have some elasticity. Also, high-stress shielding may lead to bone atrophy, therefore, the implant should support the bone without absorbing the complete load.
Non-Magnetic - Another key factor is that the implants should be non-magnetic so that there are no risks to patients.
Orthopedic trauma can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any age. To fix injuries/fractures, an orthopedic surgeon performs surgeries to fix the conditions which arise out of the events and use trauma implants at his discretion. Trauma implants are manufactured in a variety of forms and sizes.
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