Customized medicine, tailored to the unique needs of each patient, is already prevalent in the fields of orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery. Procedures for osteoarthritis of the hip and knee are selected on a case-by-case basis, taking into account not only the patient's clinical condition but also lifestyle habits and religious affiliation. A characteristic of Japanese medicine is that any procedure chosen by the patient can be performed with a high degree of sophistication. Furthermore, technology for the manufacture and anchoring of safe aggregate materials and artificial joints tailored to the individual physique is becoming established as a system, and is now ready to be provided as an international service.
Materials for arti cial joints undergo constant development in Japan to realize long-term biocompatibility and high durability. For enhanced durability, ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene is used in the parts of arti cial joints that rub against each other. Also, because the body's response to even small traces of wear debris can cause loosening of arti cial joints, materials have been developed containing a small amount of vitamin E to reduce the toxicity of such wear debris. For metal portions, for long-term use with no fear of metal hypersensitivity, a cutting-edge alloy has been developed by adding zirconium, niobium, and tantalum, which are all elements that increase biocompatibility, to titanium, which is naturally compatible with bone. This material is now being used in clinical settings.Features of Orthopedics in Japan
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