Each year in Europe there are approximately 800000 hip operations costing an average of €1,942 per/implant, worth over €1.5 billion and the number of hip operations is rising by an estimated 15% per annum. At present 10% of all the prosthesis implanted are in patients under 55 years of age of which 33% of these will fail within 16 years with a further 20% of implant fitted to over 55’s failing within 20 years requiring revisional surgery costing an aditional €2.3 billion per annum.

Treatment of younger patients with severe hip disease using a conventional Total Hip Replacement (THR) presents a challenge with the rate of success being very low. To overcome this Finsbury help develop the Metal on Metal (MoM) Birmingham Hip Replacement (BHR) resurfacing hip which relies on the reshaping and capping of the femoral head instead of the removal presently done with a THR.  This technology has dramatically increased the survival rate of the implant to 93% over a conventional THR.

However concerns have been raised recently due to the high levels of cobalt and chromium measured in the blood and serum samples of patients with MoM devices. These concerns relate to the possible systemic effect of metal ions released by MoM prosthesis in terms of genomics as well as immulogy and histology, and reviews have recently been published into the ion levels and their biological effects were marked when wear was abnormally increased, with low carbon (<0.2%) implants and loose or poorly positioned implants

During the course of this project we intend to overcome these problems by developing a ceramic on polymer resurfacing hip. Like that of the MOM prosthesis this will only cover the femoral head and allow for the natural remodelling of the bone tissues, but will not have any of the negative effect associated with Co or Cr ions.

Further project information can be found here http://www.endure-fp7.com/ and here http://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/research/projects/endure.page#overview