Cellular events in the mechanisms of prosthesis loosening

A. Pizzoferrato, G. Ciapetti, S. Stea, A. Toni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The functional restoration of a joint damaged by trauma or disease is obtained by prosthetic surgery. In particular the implantation of hip prostheses is regarded as routine in orthopedic surgery and thorough research has been developed in this field. The prosthetic replacement of the knee and even more so the ankle and elbow occurs less frequently in clinical practice and has been studied less intensively. The results of artificial hip replacement are generally good, both in terms of pain relief and the restoration of satisfactory joint function. Nevertheless, as time passes, a high rate of failures have been recorded due to prosthesis infections, fracture and wearing of the prosthetic components and prosthesis loosening by various causes. The use of ultra-filtered air and laminar flow in operating theatres and antibiotic prophylaxis have dramatically reduced the incidence of infections in total hip arthroplasty. Thanks to the setting up of new stem configurations and the use of superalloys that are highly resistant to fatigue failure, the fracture of the femoral component has been virtually eliminated as a complication of total hip arthroplasty replacements. Loosening is thus the most frequent complication in total hip replacement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-81
Number of pages31
JournalClinical Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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