Smart hip prosthesis - an overview
Presentation held at Jahrestagung der Biomedizinischen Technik und Dreiländertagung der Medizinischen Physik, 10. - 13. September 2017, Dresden
Artificial hip joints are mostly implanted in patients suffering from arthrosis, a widespread disease in modern society. It is generally caused by wear to the joint cartilage, and subsequent damage to the surrounding bone structure, muscles, joint capsules and ligaments. The main symptoms are joint pain and restricted mobility. Older people are at greater risk of developing arthrosis which means that, given the current demographic trends, there are an increased number of people requiring artificial hip replacements. The hip prosthesis being developed by Fraunhofer researchers as part of the Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project Theranostic Implants is equipped with electronic sensors and actuators that enable the physician to monitor the fit of the artificial hip joint and the bone ingrowth without further surgical intervention, and to readjust the position of the implant if necessary. Conventional prosthetic hip joints have a tendency to work loose because they are unable to adapt to changes in the bone structure. This usually means that they have to be replaced after ten to fifteen years. But hip revision surgery is a complicated medical procedure and carries with it a high risk to the patient's health. The presentation is about the status of the development focusing on specific components, modules and solutions addressing a new type of hip prosthesis integrating sophistictated sensor and actuator functionalities as well as an first idea of how to potentially use it in practice.