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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Orthopedic implants to repair fractures to the radius and ulna. Note the visible break in the ulna. (right forearm)

An implant is a medical device manufactured to replace a missing biological structure, support a damaged biological structure, or enhance an existing biological structure. Medical implants are man-made devices, in contrast to a transplant, which is a transplanted biomedical tissue. The surface of implants that contact the body might be made of a biomedical material such as titanium, silicone or apatite depending on what is the most functional. In some cases implants contain electronics e.g. artificial pacemaker and cochlear implants. Some implants are bioactive, such as subcutaneous drug delivery devices in the form of implantable pills or drug-eluting stents.



Among the most common types of medical implants are the pins, rods, screws and plates used to anchor fractured bones while they heal.[citation needed]

Electrically-powered implants

Artificial pacemaker which help to regulate heart rhythms are another example of a medical implant. Long-lived provision of energy to such devices may be provided by lithium-ion batteries or betavoltaic devices.[1]


A bio-implant may be defined as a biomaterial surgically implanted in a person's body to replace damaged tissue. Common areas of application include orthopedic (especially maxillofacial) re-constructive prosthesis, cardiac prostheses (artificial heart valves like the Chitra heart valve), skin and cornea.[citation needed]

Dental implants

Dental implants are one of the few medical devices which permanently cross the boundary between the inside and the outside of the body, since the base of the implant is osseointegrated in the bone of the mandible or maxilla and the top of the implant is in the mouth, where it can be crowned with an artificial tooth.[citation needed]

Orthopedic Implants

In orthopedic surgery, implants may refer to devices that are placed over or within bones to hold a fracture reduction while prosthesis would be the more appropriate term for devices that replace a part or whole of a defunct joint. In this context implants may be placed within or outside the body.

Types of Orthopedic Implants

There are many types of orthopedic implants and each orthopedic implant is designed to correct the affected joint so that it withstand the movement and stress associated and to enhance mobility and decrease pain. Broadly speaking, Orthopedic implants are available for the hip, knee, shoulder and elbow. Safety Locking Plates

  • Interlocking Nail
  • Nails, Wires & Pins
  • Cranio Maxillofacial Implants
  • Mini Fragment Implants
  • Small Fragment Implants
  • Large Fragment Implants
  • Cannulated Screws
  • DHS/DCS & Angled Blade Plates
  • Hip Prosthesis
  • ACL/PCL Reconstruction System
  • Spine Surgery
  • External Fixators


The process of implantation of medical devices is subject to the same complications as any other invasive medical procedure, including infection, inflammation, and pain. Implants also run the risk of rejection if they ellicit a reaction from the host immune system.


There have been many examples of implant failures, including rupture of silicone breast implants, hip replacement joints and artificial heart valves, such as the Bjork-Shiley valve, all of which have caused FDA intervention. The consequences of implant failure depend on the critical nature of the implant, and its position in the body. Thus heart valve failure is likely to threaten the life of the individual, while breast implant or hip joint failure is less likely to be life-threatening.

See also


Further reading

  • D.F. Williams, Williams Dictionary of Biomaterials. Liverpool University Press, 1999 ISBN 978-0-85323-734-1; ISBN 0-85323-734-4

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