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Stryker launches new wear-resistant bearing material for hip and knee replacements

Stryker : 24 September, 2007  (New Product)
Stryker's new X3 wear-resistant bearing joint replacement material has been developed to increase the life of hip and knee replacements.
X3 has been specially developed from conventional polyethylene. The innovative material offers surgeons the first highly cross linked polyethylene bearing surface that keeps its structural strength, whilst reducing wear and eliminating the potential for oxidation.

The volumetric wear is reduced by 97percent in the hip, making the wear rates similar to more expensive metal on metal bearings. However, in contrast to other highly crosslinked materials the wear particle size distribution also remains similar to that of standard polyethylene which could have implications for reducing osteolysis.

Dr John Dumbleton, one of the inventors of X3 for Stryker, explains: “We have pioneered a unique manufacturing process which means the X3 plastic can resist wear under all conditions. In tests we have demonstrated wear reductions of 97percent in the hip and 79percent in the knee.

With increasing numbers of patients undergoing joint replacement surgery a material such as X3 has the potential to help reduce the number of joint revisions due to wear and tear, and could save precious NHS resources,” said Dumbleton.

X3 is the only bearing material on the market to address the three major factors of strength, wear and oxidation that contribute to hip and knee replacement failure. It can also be used in any patient unlike some other advanced bearing technologies.

X3 offers a significant advance in knee replacement surgery. Knees are subjected to huge pressure and surgeons have been limited in their choice of bearing materials for knee replacements. A crosslinked polyethylene with no reduction in strength is a major breakthrough in this area.

Niall Flynn is a consultant knee surgeon at Portsmouth NHS Trust and Nuffield Hospital in Hampshire who has used X3 in a number of knee operations.

“I feel X3 is the most groundbreaking and dynamic development in knee replacement surgery in the last 15 years. It allows us to be confident in the survivorship of knee replacements in younger more active patients.

“As we see that knee replacements are changing throughout the country with younger patients demanding a better quality of life we can give them that with confidence using X3,” said Flynn.

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