Published 1/1/2008
Jennie McKee

Symposium focuses on osteolysis and implant wear

The prevalence of osteolysis—the “silent disease” that softens, absorbs, and destroys bony tissue—and the impact of wear in joint replacement are issues of concern to orthopaedic surgeons, device manufacturers, researchers, and patients. Every year, osteolysis and implant wear necessitate thousands of revision surgeries that are more difficult to perform, take more time, have a higher complication rate, and often don’t have outcomes as good as those in primary hip or knee arthroplasty.

To address these issues, orthopaedic surgeons, researchers, young investigators, and representatives from both industry and government met Nov. 9–11, 2007, in Austin, Texas. The AAOS/National Institutes of Health (NIH) Osteolysis and Implant Wear Research Symposium: Biological, Biomedical Engineering, and Surgical Principles was co-chaired by Stuart Goodman, MD, PhD, and Timothy Wright, PhD. The invitation-only symposium built upon previous workshops on osteolysis and implant wear held in 1995 and 2000.

The symposium findings will be published in their entirety in a special issue of the Journal of the AAOS later this year. In addition, this issue of AAOS Now presents an overview of the recent studies of biologic principles related to osteolysis and implant wear, many of which point to potential treatment targets. In upcoming issues, we will cover recent biomedical engineering research into how implants’ material properties and design factors influence wear. We will also explore clinical research regarding such topics as the prevalence and diagnosis of implant wear and osteolysis, as well as outcomes of osteolysis treatment.

Grant support for the symposium came from the AAOS, the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, The Knee Society, the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, and the Orthopaedic Research Society. The symposium also received funding from the National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases/NIH, through a U-13 conference support grant. Industry supporters include DePuy, DePuy Spine, Smith & Nephew, Stryker Orthopaedics, Synthes, and Zimmer.