JOURNEY◊ II Active Knee Solutions – Implant Wear
Implant materials can impact durability
Virtually all total knee replacement systems use a combination of metal and plastic components to replace the surfaces of a damaged knee. Metal is typically used to replace the surfaces of the bone, while plastic is most commonly used to replace the joint’s cartilage.
Unfortunately, the metal and plastic surfaces of an implant can wear down over time. The primary cause of this “implant wear” is the friction created when the upper, metal, part of an implant – called the femoral component – rubs against the plastic insert. Even with pristine implants, over time, this friction can cause tiny particles of the insert to wear away. If the metal component becomes scratched for any reason, this destructive process can be increased dramatically. In fact, this type of implant wear is a leading cause of premature knee replacement failure.
Fortunately, implant wear can be offset by using advanced, wear-reducing materials during the creation of the implant.