The ceramic implant is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration but Gitelis believes that once it is approved, patients will have more choices of materials.
"If I'm treating a patient in his 80s, I would probably still give them the metal to polyethylene implant," Gitelis said. "But, if I have younger patient who requires a total hip replacement, I would recommend the ceramic material as it gives the patient the best chance to avoid wear and adverse effects over the long term."
Some researchers also believe that the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermis adheres more strongly to polyethylene than ceramic, though Gitelis indicated that had not yet been proven scientifically. Use of the new ceramic material will not require any new technique nor will it force surgeons to use a different socket as the new ceramic bearing is designed to fit into existing socket.
Pascale had his surgery on June 11 and now reports little discomfort and is happy he chose ceramic over traditional metal to polyethelene.