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Studying Joint Wear With Hip Simulator

Armen Hareyan's picture

Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak is one of the only health care facilities in the United States using a 12-station hip simulator to measure wear and tear on total joint replacement devices.

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"This new piece of equipment allows our researchers to test total hip joint replacement parts under conditions approximating those occurring in the human body," says James Verner, M.D., joint replacement orthopedic surgeon and principal investigator of this new section of the Beaumont Orthopedic Research Laboratory. "Our people can approximate years of joint use in just a few months under laboratory conditions and give us a good idea of how the joint will work over a lifetime."

The hip simulator lab's primary goals are to provide research opportunities and resources for Beaumont's orthopedic surgeons, fellows, residents and researchers and help device companies improve joint implant surfaces, resulting in longer lasting and more durable hip implants. The team will be able to provide unbiased, objective joint replacement device wear information for companies that contract with the hospital to evaluate and assess their latest products.

In turn, doctors and scientists hope to improve the patient quality of care with faster recovery times after joint replacement while offering safer, longer-lasting implant devices than those available today. While most of the ongoing research is dedicated toward hip replacement research, there is also a plan in the works to ready the machines to do similar work with shoulder joint replacement parts later in the year.