Biomedical Research at the Scripps Clinic: Modeling Orthopedic Implants with Altair HyperWorks

Every year, countless people — regardless of their age or level of physical activity — begin to experience the effects of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. As we age, the cartilage that cushions the joints begins to deteriorate. The head of the adjacent bones begin to break down from the friction, causing pain in the joint. When the condition worsens and non- surgical remedies are exhausted, surgeons may recommend joint replacement.

Typically, titanium alloy implants are lined with plastics that act as cartilage and are fixed in place with cement or screws by the surgeon. The implants can give patients a new lease on life, dramatically reducing pain and improving mobility. However, questions naturally arise in the patient’s mind: How much range of motion will I have in the new joint? How much strength will I recover? And how long will the new joint last?

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