Titanium has been used in orthopedic surgery since the 1950s, but it became increasingly popular in the 1980s and 1990s due to its biocompatibility and corrosion resistance properties.

The uses of titanium in orthopedic surgery

Titanium is a biocompatible, resistant and light metal and it is widely used in orthopedic surgery for the manufacture of joint prostheses, plates, screws and other fixing devices.

In particular, titanium joint replacements are commonly used to replace damaged joints in the hip, knee, shoulder and other limbs. This is because titanium implants can last a long time and to they are highly biocompatible.

Furthermore, titanium is also used for the production of plates and screws which are used to lock the bones when, due to a major trauma, the fracture is impossible to recompose with only the locking of the limb. These fasteners can be removed later, after the healing of the fracture.

The biocompatibility of titanium in orthopedic surgery

Biocompatibility is the most important feature of titanium, but how was this biocompatibility discovered and by whom?

The discovery of biocompatibility of titanium was made in the 1950s by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark.

Brånemark was studying blood microcirculation and tissue oxygenation when he realized that his titanium instrumentation, which he used to hold his experimental devices firmly in place, had been successfully osseointegrated into animal bone. This meant that the bone had literally fused with the titanium, forming a solid and lasting bond.

Later Brånemark experimented the use of titanium as a material for dental prostheses and, later, for orthopedic prostheses.

His studies have shown that titanium is able to successfully integrate with human tissue without causing any adverse reactions. In this way, titanium has become the main material for many medical applications, from joint prostheses to bone fixation plates.

This material is currently used in 90% of the implantable products that Leghe Leggere Lavorate manufactures for its customers.