Bone remodelling is a process that occurs naturally in the body, involving the breakdown and rebuilding of bone tissue. This process is crucial for maintaining the strength and integrity of bones, as well as for repairing any damage that may occur. In the case of total hip replacements, bone remodelling plays an important role in the long-term success of the implant.

During a total hip replacement (THR), the damaged or diseased hip joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint made of metal, plastic, or ceramic components. After surgery, the surrounding bone tissue undergoes a remodelling process, which involves the removal of damaged bone and the formation of new bone tissue around the implant.

The remodelling process is stimulated by mechanical stress on the bone tissue, which is caused by weight-bearing activities such as walking and standing. This stress prompts bone cells called osteoblasts to lay down new bone tissue around the implant, while other cells called osteoclasts break down old or damaged bone tissue.

Over time, the bone tissue around the implant becomes stronger and better able to support the weight of the body. However, if the remodelling process is disrupted or if there are other complications, such as infection or implant failure, it can lead to bone loss or instability around the implant.

To promote successful bone remodelling after total hip replacement surgery, patients are typically advised to engage in weight-bearing activities and follow a rehabilitation program designed to gradually increase mobility and strength in the hip joint. Close monitoring by a healthcare professional is also important to detect any potential issues early and to address them promptly to ensure the long-term success of the procedure.

The research done was a collaborative effort between Corin medical, Invibio, TWI, Imorphics and Durham University partially funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB: grant reference: SHIELD TP/14/HVM/6/I/BD202A Project No.:100731). It resulted in the development of a bone remodelling FEA code with the ability to assess the long term effects of implant positioning and surgical decisions.

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