LONDON, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- There is an increasing trend towards marketing patient-specific implants, especially those targeted at women. This follows the overall trend of greater product diversification and provides a synergy with consumer-directed marketing. One of the key drivers is the Internet, with acknowledgement that patients who have educated themselves are not only more likely to choose implantation surgery over other options but also to choose a specific brand of implant.
The original technique of arthroplasty involved cementing the implanted device with bone cement, which provided immediate fixation. This is beneficial from the standpoint of recovery, as a strongly fixated joint allows for more successful rehabilitation and an earlier return to active living. The significant disadvantage is that the process of cementing kills bone cells. As bone naturally replenishes itself, the reduced stock of bone building osteoblast cells means that the device-bone interface weakens over time, resulting in a loosening of the joint.
Simultaneous bilateral implantation is a procedure that involves replacing both left and right joints in the same surgical operation. The benefit of doing so is reduced overall surgical time and a shortened combined rehabilitation period for patients. The main drawback is increased blood loss during the operation.
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is sometimes regarded as much of a marketing term as it is a method of surgery. While all parties define MIS as surgery that requires a lesser degree of tissue disruption, there is no concrete way of quantifying what objective measures describe MIS surgeries.
Computer-guided systems represent a small portion of the joint replacement market at present. Alignment is more precise and incisions are smaller, but issues remain with obtaining accurate patient landmark data during surgery. These systems need to be properly oriented in order to obtain accurate navigation, but this depends greatly on patient positioning. Most systems require patients to be precisely repositioned during surgery, which increases time spent in the operating room as well as the chance of infection.
Because of an understandable aversion to surgery, implantation technology will likely face competition from therapies that require less invasive procedures. Most of these technologies are focused on regenerating the diseased cartilage layer rather than eliminating it, as is performed with joint replacement.
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