Total joint replacement (TJR) has revolutionized the treatment of end-stage arthritic disorders. This success is due, in large part, to a clear understanding of the important interaction between the artificial implant and the biology of the host. All surgical procedures in which implants are placed in the body evoke an initial inflammatory reaction, which generally subsides over several weeks. Thereafter, a series of homeostatic events occur leading to progressive integration of the implant within bone and the surrounding musculoskeletal tissues. The eventual outcome of the operation is dependent on the characteristics of the implant, the precision of the surgical technique and operative environment, and the biological milieu of the host. If these factors and events are not optimal, adverse events can occur such as the development of chronic inflammation, progressive bone loss due to increased production of degradation products from the implant (periprosthetic osteolysis), implant loosening or infection. These complications can lead to chronic pain and poor function of the joint reconstruction, and may necessitate revision surgery or removal of the prosthesis entirely. Recent advances in engineering, materials science, and the immunological aspects associated with orthopaedic implants have fostered intense research with the hope that joint replacements will last a lifetime, and facilitate pain-free, normal function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)