Hip joint replacement
Osteoarthritis is one of the ten most disabling diseases in developed countries and can require hip joint replacement. Depending on the country, between 100 and 300 surgeries are conducted per 100,000 people.
Although the classical hip joint replacement is an established and safe surgery, the biomechanical performance is often suboptimal. This results from strain shielding, bone resorption and thus implant loosening. A potential solution for these issues are short stems to preserve bone stock and minimize shielding.
In the course of an Open Call activity within the framework the European InkPlant project, Lithoz, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Universidad de Piura followed this approach to optimize the design for patient-specific short femoral stems and manufacture them via LCM technology from the bioceramics alumina-toughened zirconia (ATZ). This well-established biocompatible ceramic is especially suitable because of its high strength and low wear. The design process underwent several steps including a topological optimization resulting in a failure probability of less than 9*10^-10 and a weight reduction of more than 43%.
The 3D printing of high-performance ATZ enabled the manufacture of this innovative femoral stem implant in an efficient and easy way. Lithoz, together with the University partners, helped find a new treatment option for one of the most disabling diseases in developed countries.