Question:I've had severe rheumatoid arthritis in my hands for the last 10 years. I've had two joint replacements with silicone implants. I've heard there's a new and improved carbon implant now. What can you tell me about these new joints?
Answer:Silicone implants have been in use for 30 years, so long-term results are well-known. Joint pain is decreased and motion improved. But problems persist with implant loosening, shifting, and subsidence. Subsidence is the sinking of the implant down into the bone.
Results from studies using the new pyrolytic carbon implants are just beginning to trickle in. Simmilar problems are reported with these new implant materials suggesting that little has changed.
Reoperations are common and results are not vastly improved with the carbon implants. More research is needed in this area.Peter C. Amadio, MD: What's New in Hand Surgery. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. February 2007. Vol. 89-A. No. 2. Pp. 460-465.
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