New hip resurfacing implant could lead to better outcomes for patients

New hip resurfacing implant could lead to better outcomes for patients

Surgeons are treating patients with a new type of hip implant that could lead to better outcomes for younger, more active people requiring surgery.

Fifteen patients have so far been treated with a novel ceramic hip resurfacing implant in a new trial at Imperial College London. Early results suggest patients can return to physical activities such as swimming and cycling within six weeks of their operation.

The investigation, whose lead site is Charing Cross Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, is the first in the world to resurface patients’ hips without using metal implants.

The clinical trial is designed to show that the ceramic implant is suitable for both men and women, as conventional hip resurfacing techniques are currently unsuitable for female patients,

The team hopes that the results of the investigation will lead to more treatment options for patients who require surgical replacement of a hip, and enable them to lead fuller, more active lives.

They suggest that the new device, called H1, could also reduce the risks of hip surgery, as well as save the NHS £10m a year. The technique may also give patients a higher quality of life than conventional hip replacement surgery.

Professor Justin Cobb, chief investigator, said: “In this safety study, we are ensuring that the H1 hip resurfacing implant can be used safely on patients needing hip replacement surgery. Hip resurfacing is an alternative, more conservative type of surgery that enables a higher level of physical activity than total hip replacement. The metal hip resurfacing implants developed 20 years ago have been highly successful, but some patients have had problems with tissue reactions around the hip owing to the release of metal ions.”

Unlike other hip resurfacings, the H1 implant is made of ceramic that is strong, low wearing and non-toxic. The researchers believe that by swapping the metal material with ceramic, the advantages of hip resurfacing surgery are kept, while the possibility of problems arising from the metal ions released is removed.

Professor Cobb added: “The H1 hip resurfacing implant is made from ceramic and designed to fit the contours of both male and female hips, so may avoid the problems seen with metal hip resurfacing. The ceramic used in the H1 is the same material used for the ball head in most hip replacements in the world today. The early results are promising. We hope to move from the safety study into a full-scale efficacy study in the spring, involving more patients in centres around the UK and Europe. The trial is designed to demonstrate that total hip replacement can be postponed or avoided for younger and more active patients, enabling them to lead fuller more active lives.”

The first fifteen patients with degenerative hip joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis, were recruited to the investigation between September and December 2017. Scans were taken of each patient’s hip before and after surgery, as well as post-operatively at six weeks to evaluate hip function. A blood sample was also taken before and after surgery to monitor the levels of metal ions following the operation.

The team has found that patients were able to return to physical activities such as swimming, cycling and walking within six weeks of their operation. By three months, patients were able to return to those activities they couldn’t do before, including dancing, yoga and gym work, like total hip patients, but a little quicker. Full recovery will take longer.

The researchers will recruit a total of 250 patients to the clinical investigation from hospitals across the UK and the rest of Europe. The patients will be followed up over ten years to assess how the implant is performing.

Source: Imperial College London

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