Prof. Eingartner has been invited to speak on the 2014 congress of the European Federation of Orthopaedics and Traumatoltogy (EFORT) in London, U.K. He was included as a speaker and in the panel of the Tribology Day. “Of course, it is a great honor for me to be invited as an expert to share my knowledge with the scientific community in a pan-european setting”, says Prof. Eingartner.
Tribology is the science of materials which form the articulation in artificial joints. The main issue is wear, as all materials deteriorate with time, and, furthermore, wear particles are one important reason for early loosening of endprostheses. This is one of the core issues in joint replacement, and it was more than lucky that Sir John Charnley, the father of modern joint replacement, choose polyethylene as one of the partners in articulation. Some newer developements, like metal-on-metal have turned out to create a lot of new problems, but, on the other hand, ceramics-on-ceramics articulations have stood the test of time and are a real advantage, especially for younger and demanding patients.
“It is crucial to make the right decisions in choosing the materials for the articulation”, says Prof. Eingartner. “We have to evaluate new developments and make use of them for the sake of our patients, but on the other hand sometimes it is wise to keep on using well established materials in order to avoid new problems, which nobody has been thinking of.”
At Caritas Hospital, the Institution where Prof. Eingartner and his team is working, only time-tested materials are being used. Total hip replacment in younger patients is done using a ceramic-on-ceramic articulation. “This is much more expensive, and we have to bear the extra costs. But we do use what we are thinking which is the best for our patients, regardless of reimbursment”, underlines Prof. Eingartner.