Biologic Joint Replacement

June 22, 2011 by   Print
Filed under Physiotherapy Blog

The future of joint replacement?

As physiotherapists there is something intuitively attractive about biological joint replacement relative to traditional implant devices. The attraction of normal biomechanical charactaristics, physiological tissue loading behavior and less surgical destruction are obvious advantages. I was excited to see this excellent 6min video from the wonderful TED website discussing these issues and future directions of biologic joint replacement in relation to knee pathology. We have discussed  knee replacement cases previously.

I have only seen 1 patient with a cartilage allograft to her patella. She was a 22 year old elite hockey player /athlete who had 6 arthroscopic debridements from the age of 16. Despite my enthusiasm and considerable effort with her rehabilitation she did not return to competitive sport. Nonetheless I think this is still a very exciting area and one I hope we will see more of. It will also be interesting to see how the mulit-national prosthetic manufacturers respond to this challenge? It looks like the future research in this area is focused in a different direction to the typical disciplines of materials science, mechanics and computer modelling.

Has anyone had experience with this type of caseload?

Let us know.

Enjoy the clinical challenge.


GHTime Code(s): nc 
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2 Responses to “Biologic Joint Replacement”
  1. David Kieran says:

    Some serious work being done there, brilliant.

    • Yes exciting stuff David.

      I would be interested to see if anything along these lines was being done for intervertebral discs. The current “disc replacements” are more like mechanical hinges than a functioning disc. Would be great to see restoration of disc biomechanics rather than removal of structural material. Watch this space.


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