"20 to 25 years from today, rather than put and implant in, we'll be able to resurface the joint biologically." Doctor Thomas P. Sculco, Surgeon-in-Chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, speculates on the future of hip replacement surgery and notes how hopefully surgery won't even be required soon.
Dr. Sculco: The future really rests on a number of different areas. One is the prevention of failure of what we're currently doing. So we have a reactive laboratory here looking at why implants fail. The second thing we're looking at is the biological changes that around an implant, where it fixes itself to the bone. And because wear of these materials can occur because there's so many cycles of motion between that ball and the socket, that the body can respond in a negative fashion. And it can stimulate the production of cells which in fact break the bone down around the device. We're interested here looking at biologically the cellular mechanisms involved in that process. And how we might block that process from occurring. So I think in the future, someone will have a hip replacement they make take one tablet a day that would prevent that cell deform. We're probably looking at 20 to 25 years from today, rather than put and implant in, we'll be able to resurface the joint biologically. With growths of cartilage that either stop the arthritic process. Or once it occurs treat it early to prevent it from coming a severe problem.
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