Polyethylene is a form of plastic that is commonly used in joint replacement implants. Individual implants can be machined from a single larger piece or they can be manufactured one piece at a time. Polyethylene is one of several preferred materials for joint replacement because it is strong and is generally accepted by the body after implantation.
Polyethylene has several characteristics that make it an ideal material to use for joint replacement. It is smooth, making it a good material for metal implants to move against. It can also help absorb some of the impact of everyday activities like walking, biking, shopping, and golfing. While polyethylene is a strong material for joint replacement, some manufacturers use different methods to further decrease the wear of the material.
Antioxidants are good for your body. They are good for polyethylene joint replacement implants, too. Polyethylene inserts can react with oxygen, creating an effect similar to a browning apple. This reaction is known as "oxidation." Over time, oxidation can weaken the polyethylene inserts. Biomet's E1® inserts are produced with Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant which, in laboratory testing, has shown to protect the material from the effects of oxidation.1 Biomet is currently the only company offering antioxidant technology in hip or knee implants in the U.S.
1. Data on file at Biomet. Bench test results are not necessarily indicative of clinical performance.
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Biomet is a manufacturer of orthopedic implants and does not practice medicine. Only an orthopedic surgeon can determine what treatment is appropriate. Individual results of total joint replacement may vary. The life of any implant will depend on your weight, age, activity level, and other factors. For more information on risks, warnings, and possible adverse effects, see the Patient Risk Information section found within Biomet.com. Always ask your doctor if you have any questions regarding your particular condition or treatment options.