Challenges to Create Replacements That Work
Getting It To Stay In Place
The method of bonding an implant to existing bone must:
  • Be able to withstand all the stresses and strains of daily use
  • Attach the replacement so that the forces exerted on the bone during use are distributed and not concentrated all in one spot (which might cause a fracture)
  • Ensure that blood flow to all parts of the bone is maintained. If blood flow is stopped, then that part of the bone will die and therefore break more easily.
  • Be made from materials that don’t deteriorate or release toxins when put inside the human body
  • Be made from materials that the body doesn’t try to reject

Doctors who pioneered joint replacements in the 1800s experimented with many different substances as “glues”.

Today’s replacements rely on one of two different techniques to bond them
to the bone.