Biomarkers discovered that highlight if bone loss will impact on hip replacement success
One of the main reasons for hip revision is the destruction of bone tissue around the replacement joint – osteolysis – which can cause the joint to loosen.
Now a team from the US has identified a pair of biomarkers (detectable molecules in body fluid or tissue that are a sign of a health condition) that indicate who is likely to develop osteolysis and publish their findings in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research. The discovery could lead to tests that would enable surgeons to identify those people in advance and adjust post-operative monitoring routines for them. It could even lead to treatments to prevent osteolysis in these people.
“We are hopeful that early biomarkers for implant loosening will alert surgeons to be especially vigilant in their follow-up of at-risk patients and may eventually lead to treatments delaying or avoiding the need for revision surgery,” explains senior author Dr D Rick Sumner.
More people are remaining very active late in life so hip replacements are projected to increase, and so will hip revision surgeries.
Dr Joshua Jacobs, who is also involved in the work, comments:
“We need to find effective strategies to handle this demand. These joints need to last, if possible, for the rest of a patient’s life.”
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