Knee replacement surgery is a common treatment for degenerative arthritis providing the patient with relief from joint pain and restoring function. More than one million knee replacements are performed each year and due to a continually aging population t his number is predicted to increase dramatically in the next 20 years.
In 2011 surgeons in Norway reported an increase in the rate of early loosening a specific brand of replacement knee implant. The Norwegian Arthroplasty Register has investigated the s urvivorship of this brand finding it is more likely to become loose than best available brands. However, it has been unable to establish the reason for this higher rate of loosening. As a result the Norwegian Arthroplasty Register along with user surgeons has asked the Biomaterials Research Cluster, UiB to investigate the failures. A national program for the retrieval of failed knee implants has started in order to investigate the matter further.
The specific objectives of this project are to determine:
1)the association between cases of loosening and other clinical factors
2)the role of implant design in the failures observed.
The most critical challenges to the project are:
1)access to clinical material and epidemiological information. Due to the Bio materials Cluster's on going retrieval collection project, and collaboration the Norwegian Arthoplasty Register and all user hospitals the project has unique access to the information required meet the project objectives.
2)accurate information of the loa ding on the knee in patients. It is planned that this expertise will be brought to the project by the visiting researcher who comes from a leading institute in this field.
The project findings will be applicable to current and future medical practice by i dentifying one cause of loosening to knee replacement implants. It will also provide a test method for the assessment of future technologies and in the procurement of implants by hospitals.