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Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Ask the Expert: Hip Advice

Michael Mayor
Photograph by John Sherman.

We asked Adjunct Professor of Engineering Michael Mayor, MD, retired Dartmouth-Hitchcock orthopaedic surgeon and cofounder of the Dartmouth Biomedical Engineering Center, home to the largest orthopaedic implant retrieval program in the world:

What kind of hip implant did you recently choose for yourself?

“Given my fairly close relationship with over 18,000 retrieved specimens, I did have some firmly held convictions about how to go about it. In over 40 years of retrieval analysis at Thayer, we’ve compiled definitive, long-term outcome data about cement fixation versus porous-coated joint implants, and the answer is clear: Use cement for knees and porous coating for hips. Some of the smaller decisions I needed to leave up to my surgeon based on his experience and skill set, and there were only two other non-negotiables necessary to avoid complications. First was that the acetabular side include cross-linked polyethylene to minimize the production of debris, and second was for the titanium stem to be fitted with a ceramic ball rather than a cobalt chrome ball, which can result in corrosion and the dreaded ‘ALTR’ [adverse local tissue reaction]. Luckily, this was consistent with what my surgeon was likely to do anyway, which is why I chose him!”                      

—Catharine Mayor Lamm

Categories: The Great Hall, Ask the Expert

Tags: engineering in medicine, faculty, research

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