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Author Topic: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws  (Read 7176 times)

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Offline Pulse

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Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« on: April 22, 2008, 08:57:28 PM »
Hello,

My dad has had ACL injury for 20 years. He finally decided to do something about this. He just does not know what to choose bio-absorbable or titanium screws. Bio screws cost about $500, titanium are covered by hospital. It's not a matter of money of course. What option is better and why. Thanks.

Offline cmvsm

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2008, 03:58:59 AM »
I know that my OS used the bio-absorbable screws.  According to him, they are stronger than titanium and the incision does not have to be as large in order for them to install. And of course, the body dissolves them over time which is another plus.
ACLr and Menisectomy on 7/18/07 - Allograft

Offline feeny

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2008, 06:31:57 AM »
I think Im on titanium.

I guess Id prefer bioabsorbable... certainly sounds better - but I cant say Id notice the difference.

Where there may be a difference is with revision if its ever needed - because the titanium screws would need to come out before drilling could commence.. I guess that wouldnt be the case with bio-absorbs.


Sep-05 ACL rupture, Medial mensical tear, MCL rupture
Oct-05 Had it all repaired (hamstring graft, meniscal rivet)
-and then-
4.5 Months post-op Snowboarding like a demon
7 Months post-op Successful return to indoor soccer (YEH!)
-and then-
Mar-2015 Arthroscopy to fix meniscus

Offline pt striker

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2008, 06:48:01 PM »

One study found a connection between bioabsorbable screws and bone tunnel widening. Given that I have bioabsorbable and, in fact, DO have some bone tunnel widening, I think I'd get titanium if I had to do it again.

pt



Offline JHTraveller

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2008, 08:40:01 PM »
I have biodegradable.  Another plus with them is that they will not interfer with MRIs should you need to get one in the future.
Jan 1989 Torn ACL(L)
Dec 2005 Complex Tear to Medial Meniscus (L)
Feb 2006 Repaired ACL and Meniscus Trim

Offline jb-knee-geek

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2008, 09:17:34 PM »
I've got a bio screw and pin, but had the same questions pre-op:

From what I've read or heard:

Titanium: won't break upon insertion, may cause problem with airport security machines, no problems with allergic reaction, my OS prefers not to use titanium in case of followup for knee replacement (hopefully not my case!). They don't want to see any metal. May cause problem with MRI.

Bio screw: some rare cases of breakage upon insertion and allergic reaction.  Ask your OS how rare these are.

The OS may have his own preference.
torn RK ACL March 2001, surgery Aug. 14 2006, after 4 knee sprains since Oct. '05.  Allograft, ~40% medial meniscus removed, some wear in the trochlear groove. Everything else looks good.

Post-op diary: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=29749.

vinnic

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2009, 10:49:35 PM »
Anyone had stainless steel screws lately?  Most threads appear to be titanium or dissovable in past few years...  I know every OS has their own preference, and mine originally said this stainless steel.  I'm waiting for a call back on this though, so just curious while trying to pass the time - surgery is in three days.  Thanks for any replies.

Offline dancer49

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2009, 12:46:35 PM »
When I asked my doc about bio vs titanium, he said that
metal screws were 'old school'-

So I had the bio ones.
They are pretty 'dense' too- had a follow up xray and you
could see them in my knee! Eventually, they will be absorbed though.

Glad I won't be stopped for security every time I board a plane!  :)
Oct. 8, 2008 ACL tear
Dec. 11, 2008 ACLr plus 2 Mid & Lateral Meniscal Repairs

Offline Kaputt_Knee

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2009, 01:08:00 PM »
I've got stainless steel screws and a plate in my right knee - never had any problems either with airport security or any other problems either. They've been there for 20 years now (birthday yesterday) and I was skiing all day in the vicinity of their "birthplace".

In my left knee they are a mixture of titanium and bio-absorbable - so I think I have the full range!  ;D

I think what is more important is what the surgeon prefers to work with as each type involves a slightly different approach. I leave the choice up to the expert, that's what I pay them for.

Sue  ;)
1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee

Offline dancer49

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2009, 01:15:53 PM »
LOVE to read that you are skiing Sue!!!  ;D ;D ;D
Oct. 8, 2008 ACL tear
Dec. 11, 2008 ACLr plus 2 Mid & Lateral Meniscal Repairs

Offline lilhippie1

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2009, 02:23:17 PM »
I've had both bioabsorbable and titanium screws, 4 each actually.  I had to have one titanium screw removed since it migrated through my bone and will have had all 4 bioabsorbale screws/pins removed here soon.  I never had any problems with airport security and only minor issues with finding an MRI machine in which I could use but that was 20 years ago when MRI machines were really new.  I don't have any issues anymore.  When I had my revision they took the remaining screw out during the procedure so I didn't need an extra surgery fortunately.

My bioabsorbable screws/pins have been a royal pain.  One migrated out of place (completely intact!) and into my thigh where I had to have it removed 8 weeks or so after my surgery.  The other 3 have all snapped and are now either floating in my knee or stuck in the soft tissue causing me pain.  So I'm having them removed.  The good thing about the bioabsorbable screws is also a bad thing.  You can't see them on X-rays, they are difficult to see and cause no intereference in MRIs, which is great if you're looking for injuries or what have you.  However, when they are actually causing the problems it's next to impossible to tell exactly where they are until your doctor cuts into your knee.  And obviously the more cutting and digging around your doctor has to do to find them the worse. 

So due to my own issues, for my next revision, I'm going back to metal.  :)   
Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. --Oscar Wilde

vinnic

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 11:58:39 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  Would prefer bioabsorbable or titanium if given the choice, but you can't beat twenty years of problem-free stainless steel can you?  It seemed like most recent posts in the past few years have been the newer types though, so I was just curious.  In the end, I'll go with whatever my OS is comfortable with and deal with the hassle at airports and future scans later.  Placed another call today and probably won't hear until tomorrow, or just find out the morning of.  Thanks again - appreciate it!   :)

Offline crumpet

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Re: Bio-Absorbable vs titanium screws
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2009, 08:54:25 PM »
I had my jaws surgerized with all kinds of metal stuff, screws plates, roads, and wires.

Freaks out folks who see the X-rays...but I have yet to set off a machine at the airport! LOL

~Crumpet
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