Pros and Cons of Knee Replacement Implant Material
For a healthy lifestyle, it is important that the knees are in good shape and remain free of pain. Pain in the knees is a common condition and results mostly due to medical conditions such as osteoarthritis and cartilage wear and tear. It is the knees that provide strength and support to the human body and this is why mobility is severely affected if anything happens to the knees.
A common solution to get relief from immense knee pain and discomfort is to opt for knee replacement. During this surgery, the damaged or diseased part of the knee is removed and replaced with an implant or prosthesis.
The prosthesis comprises a flat metal plate and stem, which is inserted in the patient’s tibia, a polyethylene bearing surface as well as a contoured metal implant that is attached at the end of the femur bone. The flatter bearing of the knee replacement implant makes it less problematic than other implants, including the hip implants.
Generally, the cost of Knee Replacement starts from $4000. The knee replacement implant material used may differ from patient to patient, on the basis of their condition, actual requirement, and also the choice made by the surgeon. Here is a list of the different knee replacement implant materials and their pros and cons. Also for cost of knee replacement
Cobalt Chromium Alloys Implant
The most frequently used metal for knee implants is the cobalt chromium alloy. It is a tough, corrosion resistant, and biocompatible metal.
Cobalt Chromium Alloys Implant usability:
Pros of Cobalt Chromium Alloys Implant:
It is corrosion resistant
The metal is biodegradable
Cons of metal or ceramic on plastic implant:
Joint movement may lead to the release of metal ions in the body, which may cause allergic reactions
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Knee implants made of titanium are more like natural joints due to metal’s lower density and elastic nature.
Titanium and Titanium alloys Implant usability:
Pros of Titanium and Titanium alloys Implant:
It is biocompatible
This metal is an inert metal, which is corrosion resistant
Lower chances of bone resorption and atrophy
Cons of Titanium and Titanium alloys Implant:
The use of metals with potential toxicological problems in alloys may lead to serious repercussions
Stiffness is less than cobalt-chromium alloy implants
This implant material is a key component in Trabecular Metal, which is a new bone mix. The tiny mesh holes promote bone regrowth and metal to a bone bridge.
Tantalum implant implant usability:
Less commonly used
Pros of Tantalum implant:
This metal has biocompatibility properties
The elastic property helps in bone remodeling
It is corrosion resistant
Cons of Tantalum implant
Long-term durability is not confirmed
Can be used only in cases of severe bone loss
Stainless steel knee implants are also available, however, its use has mostly been taken over by other alloy implants. Ceramic knee replacement is also conducted in some parts of the world but it is not that successful and durable in the case of all patients.
Video on Knee Implant Types:
A patient must check out the pictures of knee replacement devices to have a thorough understanding of the mechanism before undergoing the surgery. Also, a discussion with the surgeon regarding the types of knee replacement materials will help to make the right choice.
Before selecting a titanium knee replacement or a ceramic knee replacement, a background check of the products and the knee implant manufacturers needs to be done. The review check and the ratings will further ensure that the right product is being chosen before going ahead with the knee replacement surgery.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Which is the best knee replacement implant?
A: Stainless steel implant was once used in almost all the knee replacement surgeries. However, it is prone to corrosion and this is why alloy implants slowly took over their popularity as preferred knee replacement implants. The selection of the best knee replacement implant for a patient depends on individual choices of the patient and the surgeon and the material believed to actually fulfil the requirements of the patient is selected.
Q: What is the knee replacement prosthesis cost?
A: In the US, the approximate cost for a total knee replacement can amount to $49,500, while in the UK, the cost can be around $24,000. However, in India, the cost for a total knee surgery of one knee is around $4800 (including the cost of knee implant).
Q: How long does a titanium knee replacement last?
A: For patients who opted for total knee replacement, the implant lasts about 20 years in 80 to 90 percent patients. However, it can also last longer than that too. For patients who opted for partial knee replacement, a revision surgery might be required after 10 years.
Q: What are the different types of knee replacement hardware?
A: A total knee replacement implant consists of the femoral component and the tibial component, made of metal and the spacer, which is made of polyethylene.
Q: What is the cost of titanium knee replacement?
A: In the US, the approximate cost for a total knee replacement can amount to $49,500, while in the UK, the cost can be around $24,000. However, in India, the cost for a total knee surgery is around $5000.
Q: What is a Stryker knee replacement made of?
A: Stryker knee replacement involves surgically replacing a damaged or diseased joint with an implant, which is designed to replicate a healthy human knee joint. It is made of metal alloys and plastics, which is of high grade. This ensures that the implant functions just like the bone and the cartilage of an original knee.
Q: Can knee replacement lead to the development of metal allergy?
A: Various metals can lead to metal allergy in people. However, the issue with metal implants in one’s body is not well understood as it is an extremely rare case, but it is also one of the main reasons behind painful orthopedic implants.