What is alumina ceramic?
The type of ceramic used in total hip replacement today is aluminum oxide, also known as alumina. Ceramic-on-ceramic implants surfaces are not a new concept in hip replacement. The orthopaedic industry has long recognized the potential benefits of these lower wear implants. Alumina ceramic is extremely biocompatible. The clinical use of ceramic as a bearing surface dates back to the early 1970’s. It was developed to reduce wear in the hip joint, however, early designs did not perform well clinically due to poor fixation to bone, implant positioning and material quality. In 1995, an improved alumina ceramic was developed which had increased purity and increased strength over the previous material. Alumina is an excellent bearing surface for hips due to its material characteristics, which are both hard (second only to diamonds) and extremely smooth. In addition, today’s hip designs have also been advanced to significantly improve implant-to-bone fixation. Benefits of alumina ceramics in