Surgeons at Imperial College London are conducting a clinical trial to test a new hip implant made with ceramic for better outcomes in younger people undergoing hip resurfacing surgery in the UK.
Named H1, the ceramic implant is intended to provide a low-wearing and non-toxic alternative for metal material that may lead to complications due to the release of ions.
The trial is being conducted at Charing Cross Hospital and aims to demonstrate that H1 is suitable for male as well as female patients, for whom existing standard hip resurfacing techniques are unsuitable.
Trial chief investigator Justin Cobb said: “The H1 hip resurfacing implant is made from ceramic and designed to fit the contours of both male and female hips, so may avoid the problems seen with metal hip resurfacing.
“The ceramic used in the H1 is the same material used for the ball head in most hip replacements in the world today.”
Results from 15 subjects treated with the ceramic implant showed that patients could return to physical activities such as swimming and cycling within six weeks after their operation.
It was further observed that by three months patients could perform other activities, which they could not do before such as dancing, yoga, and gym work.
The researchers plan to further study the new implant in an additional 250 participants across the UK and other European countries.
They intend to apply for CE-Marking to make the new device available for hospitals across Europe and beyond.
They expect H1 to minimise hip surgery risks and save £10m annually for the NHS.
Cobb added: “The early results are promising.
“We hope to move from the safety study into a full-scale efficacy study in the spring, involving more patients in centres around the UK and Europe.
“The trial is designed to demonstrate that total hip replacement can be postponed or avoided for younger and more active patients, enabling them to lead fuller more active lives.”