Trabecular metal - Orthopaedic applications of a novel material
Unlike conventional porous-coated materials used in orthopaedic surgery, Trabecular Metal™ (TMT) is a novel material. It is made of tantalum with three-dimensional porosity throughout its volume resembling the structure of trabecular bone. Experimental data suggest that bone ingrowth is faster and that the stability of the implant is, at least, comparable to titanium porous-coated implants. TMT has been used in several orthopaedic applications and implants made of TMT are in clinical use for joint replacement surgery and revision, treatment of avascular necrosis of the hip and spine surgery. Although excellent mid-term clinical results have been published for hip and knee replacement and revision, long-term behaviour is as yet unknown and several specific devices are still in an early stage. Based on biomechanical characteristics, experimental preclinical data and the published clinical experience, TMT appears to be a promising material for orthopaedic implants, particularly for revision surgery. © TOUCH BRIEFINGS 2011.