There is a growing demand for medical artificial parts technologies. Improved health care has resulted in an improved life expectancy for the general population.
When combined with an increasing shortage of donor organs, indicates that organ support and replacement devices will play a greater role in patient care with terminal diseases by offering a bridge to rehabilitation or transplantation.
What’s knee arthroplasty?
Knee replacement surgery and the installation of an artificial knee (arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure that restores the function of a previously damaged knee joint and reduces pain.
Knee replacement surgery involves the installation of an artificial joint-endoprosthesis at the site of a previously damaged joint (damage may be the result of injury, or inflammation or may occur as a result of aging-degenerative damage).
An endoprosthesis can be partial if one particular body part is changed or total (complete) if the entire joint is changed. The materials used to make endoprostheses are metals (e.g. steel, titanium), ceramics, or plastics. In 95% of patients, the artificial joint lasts for ten years or more. The operation lasts about 2 hours.
The most common reason for performing knee arthroplasty is to relieve severe pain that occurs as a result of osteoarthritis. Patients who need knee arthroplasty have problems walking, climbing stairs, sitting, and getting up from a chair. Some patients may have mild to severe knee pain even while resting.
The advancements we have made in the usage of artificial parts have allowed thousands to restore their old habits, with a few restrictions, and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Hip surgery and replacement
Hip surgery is a procedure to implant an artificial hip, a prosthesis that replaces a hip joint damaged by arthritis (deterioration of joint cartilage), fracture, or other conditions.
If the hip joint is damaged, normal daily activities such as walking, sitting and getting up from a chair can be painful and difficult to perform. A stiff hip can make even putting on socks and shoes painful. Of course, a total hip replacement will make all these symptoms go away and give the individual the chance to once again live pain-free and completely satisfied with life.
Any illness we might face is an alarming sign. It’s our bodies’ way of telling us to stop whatever we are doing and change habits. Unfortunately, some of our habits have consequences, but they show themselves later in life.
Therefore, artificial parts have made it possible to even restore these deteriorating parts of the body and, by doing so, give many another chance at living normally.
Biomaterials are materials that can take over the roles of damaged organs – for example, a knee or a hip. However, these materials are not acceptable for all organs, and therefore, scientists are working hard to perfect the technology behind artificial organs made from bio-materials.
If we perfect the process, chances are that certain organs might be fully replaced by working artificial parts, and this will narrow down the list of people waiting for a transplant.
We currently have artificial joints and, to a lesser extent, a functioning health system, as well as a process for those with failing kidneys. Yet, some organs are irreplaceable and still require transplants from matching donors.
The newer discoveries made in this field are giving people without a limb the chance to restore their previous life. The newer models are being attached to the brain’s neuro system, making it possible to move your hands and feet on command or by thought.
Such prosthetics are still in their development phase, but if successful, they can give many the chance for a better and more optimistic life. Of course, although such prosthetics are in their development phase, we are a long way from making them affordable and accessible for everyone.
Efforts are being put into improving current prosthetics and making them more adjustable, studier, and accessible.
The need for constant improvement in the field of medicine even gave rise to a new branch of medicine, or a new science: biomedical engineering (BME).
It is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for health purposes (e.g., diagnostic or therapeutic). This field attempts to bridge the gap between engineering and medicine.
It combines the design and problem-solving skills of engineering with the medical and biological sciences to advance healthcare treatments, including diagnosis, monitoring, and therapies.
If we succeeded in our attempts to make artificial organs almost identical to our real ones, the lives of millions could change for the better. The main purpose of all these discoveries still remains the well-being of humans.