As I mentioned in this article, as soon as I saw Theodore Gray’s prosthetic hip joint, I had to get one of my own. (Theodore’s is one of the samples for his Periodic Table Table; he’s pretty sure it belongs in the cobalt collection.)
And here mine is. I bought it on eBay; it cost me a total of $AU23.38 including delivery.
I’ve only got the hip part, not the corresponding socket part - which in this case would have been polyethylene, I think. But this is the interesting part, if you ask me. Mine even has a couple of nifty holes in the shaft, instead of the less elegant solid shaft of Theodore’s. As I mentioned in that article, I find it makes a very acceptable ray gun.
I think it’s probably made from a cobalt chrome molybdenum alloy. It’s very slightly magnetic; you can’t tell if you’re just holding even a rare-earth magnet in one hand and the hip in the other, but when I hung a magnet from a string, I could get it to stick to the implant very slightly.
I’m not sure what company made it. There’s a logo on the side like an R with a line around it, like so:
If you recognise that, drop me a line.
After the logo, there’s “52-0346 46mm” (46mm is the diameter of the ball on the end), then “CC” on the next line. Further down the shaft there’s a serial number, T00991004.
I’ll have to buff all that stuff off before I try to pass the implant off as alien technology.
(See also: My bone chisel!)
UPDATE: One or another of my readers can reasonably be expected to know absolutely anything, so I now know exactly what this prosthesis is.
Take it away, Charles the anaesthetist:
Your prosthesis is an Austin Moore Hemiarthroplasty prosthesis [yep; now that I’ve got that string to search for, I instantly found it], used to replace the femoral head in cases of subcapital fracture (fairly high) of the neck of femur where the fracture site is high enough to probably affect the blood supply to the femoral head, leading to necrosis. Because of this you can’t just screw the fracture together (search DHS, CHS, or IMHS).
An Austin Moore is uncemented, too: you ream to size and bang it in. There are cemented hemiarthroplasties that are a sort of half way position (more stable and durable, less loosening) between this and a THR (total hip replacement), but cementing a prosthesis in this patient population has a high intraoperative morbidity and mortality itself.
There is a very high mortality post NOF: not due solely to the fracture, but due to the clinical situation of these patients. If a younger person happened to NOF themselves, you might pin it first if you thought the head had any chance of survival, but if not, a THR is better.
The “R” is Richards, an orthopaedic company since absorbed into Smith and Nephew, along with others.
I used to have a Austin Moore as a gear shifter in my Kingswood wagon: it fit nicely in the hand!