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Titanium femur replacement, England, 1981

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Credit: Titanium femur replacement, England, 1981. Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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A titanium femur bone has been inserted into a human tibia (shin bone) and pelvis to illustrate a total femur replacement of the left leg. Total femur replacements are rare and are usually carried out on patients recovering from bone cancer. It is a difficult surgical procedure as the muscles have to be detached from the bone and then re-attached to the prosthesis. After surgery, patients require extensive periods of physiotherapy. Titanium is a strong but lightweight material and inert, so it is not easily rejected by the body’s immune system. Made from polyethylene (a plastic), the artificial acetabular cup stabilises the socket of the hip joint. The first total femur replacement was performed in 1952. After thirty years the patient could walk with the aid of a stick but still required further surgery. maker: Unknown maker Place made: England, United Kingdom

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