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U of L researchers study effects of total joint replacements on bone

A high resolution micro-cat scan shows Dr. Michael Voor of the University of Louisville the detail of a bone's quality and structure. Computer models are then run to determine the bone's strength. Voor and his research team want to know how bone reacts to total joint replacements.

Dr. Michael Voor

"How a total joint is not only going to function physiologically but what are the loads transferred through hip replacements going through bones that are holding them in place."

The research looks at bone as an engineering structure. its job is to support body weight, or load. But what causes this structure to fail?

Voor continues

"Bone is a very adaptive tissue. If it's not loaded, the body will take calcium away for other purposes."

Voor says this is why it's important to understand the loads and forces exerted on total joint replacements. Dr. Bill Hnat is a professor of mechanical engineering at U of L.

Dr. Bill Hnat

"We're able to recreate implants with fiberglass femurs, measure loading, create models. this ties in engineering and medicine."

This research is still in the lab, but Voor says in the future this information could be very helpful to surgeons and how they place the implants and perform the surgery.

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