New hip resurfacing implant could lead to better outcomes for patients
Surgeons at Charing Cross Hospital are treating patients with a new type of hip implant that could lead to better outcomes for younger, more active people requiring surgery.
Fifteen patients have so far been treated with a novel ceramic hip resurfacing implant in a new trial set up at Imperial College London. The procedure is the first in the world to resurface patients’ hips without using metal implants. Early results suggest patients can return to physical activities such as swimming and cycling within six weeks of their operation. The team hopes that the results of the investigation will lead to more treatment options for patients who require surgical replacement of a hip, and enable them to lead fuller, more active lives.
The clinical trial is also designed to show that the ceramic implant is suitable for both men and women, as conventional hip resurfacing techniques are currently unsuitable for female patients.
Researchers from Imperial College London suggest that the new device, called ‘H1’, could also reduce the risks of hip surgery, as well as potentially save the NHS money in the long run. The technique may also give patients a higher quality of life than conventional hip replacement surgery. This new approach is less invasive and leaves the patient with greater mobility after surgery.
Professor Justin Cobb, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and chief investigator, said: “In this safety study, we are ensuring that the H1 hip resurfacing implant can be used safely on patients needing hip replacement surgery. Hip resurfacing is an alternative, more conservative type of surgery that enables a higher level of physical activity than total hip replacement. The metal hip resurfacing implants developed 20 years ago have been highly successful, but some patients have had problems with tissue reactions around the hip owing to the release of metal ions.”
Unlike other hip resurfacings, the H1 implant is made of ceramic that is strong, low wearing and non-toxic. The researchers believe that by swapping the metal material with ceramic, the advantages of hip resurfacing surgery are kept, while the possibility of problems arising from the metal ions released is removed.
Professor Cobb added: “The H1 hip resurfacing implant is made from ceramic and designed to fit the contours of both male and female hips, so may avoid the problems seen with metal hip resurfacing. The ceramic used in the H1 is the same material used for the ball head in most hip replacements in the world today. The early results are promising. We hope to move from the safety study into a full scale efficacy study in the spring, involving more patients in centres around the UK and Europe. The trial is designed to demonstrate that total hip replacement can be postponed or avoided for younger and more active patients, enabling them to lead fuller more active lives.”