The increasing size of the geriatric population causes an increasing number of complex fractures around an increasing number of hip and knee prosthesis. This project aims to design an implant system that simplifies this complex surgery along with better fixation of the fracture fragments compared to existing implants.
Fractures of the thighbone in the elderly are increasing due to an extended life span and osteoporosis. In addition, this group has a growing number of implants, like knee- and hip prosthesis. A stiff implant in a soft bone leads to stress risers around the implant and increase the fracture risk. These fractures are surgically challenging and may have to wait for the right expertise or referred to another hospital, but evidence suggest they should be surgically managed within 48 hours due to increased mortality with time. The goal of the operation is to secure the bony ends well enough so that the patient can be mobilized and weight bear fully. This can be challenging with complex fractures in osteoporotic bone, with or without adjacent implants (so-called periprosthetic fractures). Patients are then confined to a wheel chair until the bone heals at 3-4 months and the 30 – day complication rate is reported to be 45% including a 10% mortality rate.
This project aims to decrease the complexity of surgery for fractures in the distal thighbone with or without other implants. We will develop an integrated implant system that facilitates easier mini-invasive surgery while increasing stability of the fixation compared to existing solutions. A stable fixation allows for full weight-bearing, which is essential to mobilize the patient and maintain physical independency.
The project is in its early phase where we will move from ide stage to a virtual proof of concept stage.