This new alloy was both very strong and resistant to corrosion, and has continued to be used in various prostheses since that time. While this new metal proved to be a great success, the actual resurfacing technique was found to be less than adequate.
It became clear that pain relief was not as predictable as hoped, and hip movement remained limited for many patients. The search for different types of prostheses continued. In , orthopaedic pioneer Austin T. Moore, MD, of South Carolina, developed replacements for the entire ball of the hip.
These could be used to treat hip fractures and also certain arthritis cases. This type of hip replacement, called hemiarthroplasty, only addressed the problem of the arthritic femoral head the ball. The diseased acetabulum hip socket was not replaced. The prosthesis consisted of a metal stem that was placed into the marrow cavity of the femur, connected in one piece with a metal ball that fit into the hip socket.
While very popular in the s, results remained unpredictable and arthritic destruction of the socket persisted. In addition, there was no truly effective method of securing the component to the bone.
John Charnley (1911-82)
Large numbers of patients developed pain because of this loosening of the implant. The desired result was still not achieved. Hip replacement operations have become commonplace during the past ten years, but none the less it is well to remember the struggle to overcome the initial difficulties before the achievement of the successful results which are confidently expected today.
Certainly, in the s attempts to relieve pain and restore movement to an arthritic hip frequently failed.
- John Charnley: The Man and the Hip - AbeBooks - W. Waugh: .
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Such operations which were practised often involved a prolonged period of immobilisation which would now not be tolerated. For progress to be made orthopaedic surgeons had to rely on the loyalty and stoicism of their patients who allowed untried procedures to be carried out on themselves, often without appreciating the possible outcome.
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