Testing New Hips At Beaumont Hospital


More than 150-thousand people will have a hip replacement this year. Most are living in so much pain they have trouble walking. Current hip implants only last 20 years, leaving many people needing more surgery.

Now, researchers are working to create longer lasting hips.

Paul Giles twists and lifts and bends in ways most of us think would be difficult, but just a few months ago this was impossible for Paul.

“No running. No bike riding. I'm a young father and I can't participate."Paul is one of the growing number of 40-year-olds who needs hip resurfacing, ora hip replacement. The trouble is hip implants are made to last only 15 years.

Doctor Donald Knapke, an orthopedic surgeon at Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Michigan, says, “Probably two or three times a week I'm re-doing something that's worn out."Dr. Knapke performs 600 hip replacements a year at Beaumont Hospital. It's one of the only health care facilities in the country using a 12-station hip simulator to measure wear and tear on the implants. Jacob Shorez is a research engineer.

“When we take this apart we can see if there's any wear marks in them."The results are recorded daily on a computer, showing the effects of five yearsof walking. That's five million steps, and it does it all in just three months.

Shorez says, “What we are going to get out of this data is how long the hip is going tolast, how long it's going to wear, and what the potential effects are to the patient by having this in the body.

"Because of research like this, implants have moved from plastic to longer-lasting ceramic and metal. Doctor Knapke says, “If we have new ideas, we'd rather try them on a hip simulator rather than just put them into a patient and find out later that it wasn't a good idea.

"Paul's hip surgery was a success. “It's my goal to be a better athlete at 50 than I was 20 years ago."

Hopefully his hip will keep up with him.In the next phase of the study, four out of 12 implants tested by the simulator will be tested in people.

The latest study out of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago says complications from hip implants were more frequent in women of all ages and in men over 65.

For more information, please contact:
Brian Bierley, public relationsBeaumont Hospitals(248) 551-0740


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