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St. Luke's Surgeon Implants New Ceramic-On-Ceramic Hip

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Special Design & Material Could Last a Lifetime-Great for Younger Patients

MILWAUKEE, Wis., Following recent FDA approval of the Trident® Ceramic Acetabular System, Dr. Jeffrey Butler, an orthopaedic surgeon at St. Luke's Medical Center, is the first physician in Wisconsin to implant this new ceramic-on-ceramic hip that could last a lifetime.

The surgery was performed today at St. Luke's on 47-year old Tom Albiero, a Germantown dentist who had waited months for the breakthrough technology.

"I'm still a young man and I didn't want to have to go through hip surgery again in my lifetime if I could avoid it," says Albiero. "This new ceramic hip gives me the best chance of that, so I'm very excited to get it done."

Physicians like Dr. Butler can now offer a better option to more active patients whose mobility is limited by arthritis, osteoporosis or joint injury. The Stryker Howmedica Osteonics' Trident® ceramic insert is patented based on its innovative multifunctional design. Key features include a titanium sleeve, which increases the ceramic insert strength by 50%, and a peripheral rim designed to protect the ceramic insert from impingement against the neck of the stem.

Arthritis affects an estimated 36 million Americans, or one in eight people. About 300,000 people each year benefit from hip replacements, which significantly decrease hip pain, restore mobility and improve their overall quality of life. After six years of clinical trials, the widespread availability of a new ceramic-on-ceramic bearing surface for hip reconstruction is a breakthrough for patients who are looking forward to a more active lifestyle.

The recently approved Trident® Ceramic Acetabular System, developed by Howmedica Osteonics, the orthopaedic implant division of Stryker Corporation, features alumina ceramic bearing surfaces, which demonstrate significantly less wear than traditional systems in hip simulation testing because of an extremely low degree of friction. The components of traditional artificial hip replacements, which feature metal on plastic surfaces, can wear over time, releasing debris into the joint and surrounding tissues. This wear debris, which may be more common in younger, more active patients, can cause a loss of bone called osteolysis, a leading cause of implant failure.

“People can now benefit from hip replacement while they are young enough to enjoy their favorite activities, like golfing, biking or tennis,” says Dr. Butler. “In the past, hip systems traditionally performed well for approximately 10-15 years. Many eligible patients put off the procedure to avoid the prospect of returning for a revision.”

To learn more about who may benefit most from ceramic-on-ceramic hip implants, call Dr. Butler's office at 414-384-6700. For more information about the Trident® Ceramic Acetabular System, visit

St. Luke's Medical Center is part of Aurora Health Care, a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora has care sites in 75 communities in eastern Wisconsin.

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