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Titanium implant's life expectancy?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Rusty Shackleford, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    So when I was a teenager, I broke my wrist badly. I had a metal plate and some screws inserted. After the cast came off and a few months of physical therapy, I was fine. I've been fine ever since (that was about 15 years ago).

    I just read an article though that said that the average lifetime of medical-grade titanium in the human body is only about 20 years. Does anybody know anything about this? Nobody ever told me this titanium in my arm might rot away or something, and I've searched Google and found only article pertaining to dental implants.

    Anyone here experienced anything similar?
  2. jackfinarelli

    jackfinarelli Member

    I am not a medical doctor.

    My understanding of surgical implants is that the lifetime is far more dependent on the amount of stress that the implant experiences than it is on the stability of the material in the implant.

    In other words, a titanium knee should not last as long as a titanium elbow in about anyone who is not a major league pitcher. Every step you take stresses the titanium knee; the titanium elbow tends to experience lots more periods of "quiet".

    I don't think you have to worry about the titanium "rotting away"; that might take a whole lifetime. The question is the degree to which the titanium implant is able to continue to function as it was intended to function after the stress of however many years.

    An simple X-Ray exam might shed light on the mechanical integrity of the implant...
  3. charice78

    charice78 New Member

    I have a cousin who is undergoing rehab after he broke his leg. I'm not really sure if it was titanium or anything else that was introduced to his body, but he said that it should last a life time. But then you had yours 15 years ago, so the quality of the material may have changed? Just a thought.
  4. Quiet Man

    Quiet Man Member

    Oh, titanium implants. Never mind.
  5. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I have a Titanium rod holding my L5 and S1 vertebra together in my back. It's been there about 5 years.

    I was told it would last a lifetime. I'm more worried about the screws and bone than I am the rod.
  6. Lotus

    Lotus New Member

    Titanium/titanium plated or alloys of,
    will not simply desintegrate.
    pins and Rod's are generally used as a type of internal stint to promote proper healing than as a functional replacement and so long as they don't become
    Loose or in any way an irritant will be fine for life'

    The "life expectancy" of implants generally refers to full replacement components such hips, joints, and bone replacement in Which over regular use and wear, a rough estimation of the Effective life of the implant has been determined before the implant would deteriorate beyond it's beneficial ability. 15-25 years for the more common commercial implants i.e. Hips or. joints

    I am not a medical professional and cannot guarantee my legitimate accuracy-

    -Lotus Fly
    Titanium full frontal facial/cranial/mandibular replacement/"Implant"

    I.e. Low life expectancy "impl
  7. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    I am not an M.D. I have imaged many surgical implants via x-ray, and my son has twelve to fifteen inches of titanium rod in each lower leg as a result of their being smashed in a car crash twenty years ago. Thus far there has been no problem with them that I know of. My understanding is that implants are quite durable, but that stress on them decreases that. So does drilling them for screw holes, etc. Titanium is medically compatible with bone, and bone will grow to surround the implant and strengthen them, as in dental implants. As I imaged my son's legs over time, the bone around the rods grew substantially.

    I know that they are affected by the surrounding pH, but I don't understand the mechanism involved well enough to comment on it.
  8. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    I'm not an M.D., but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express once.

    My brother had a titanium rod inserted when he broke his femur in a motorcycle accident. I think they removed it but I'm not sure.
  9. justgladtobehere

    justgladtobehere Well-Known Member

    Where does this rank in terms of odd bumps? It has 5+ years being dormant, an odd topic, and it was done by a new member.
  10. Dog8Cats

    Dog8Cats Member

    Not a medical professional here. I had the plates and screws treatment in one of my arms. This was about 25 years ago. The doctor who did the surgeries (again, 25 years ago) said there was a slight increase in cancer likelihood in those who had plates/screws ... but this likelihood was well down the line from when they were implanted.

    He removed mine after about 18 months.
  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Whenever possible, pay the extra for the adamantium upgrades.
  12. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    New bot, right?

    Anyhoo, I wonder how Rusty's implants are holding up after all these years.
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