Hip replacement is a medical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a synthetic implant. It is the most successful, cheapest and safest form of joint replacement surgery. The earliest recorded attempts at hip replacement, which were carried out in Germany, used ivory to replace the femoral head.
Use of artificial hips became more widespread in the 1930s; the artificial joints were made of steel or chrome. They were considered to be better than arthritis but had a number of drawbacks. The main problem was that the articulating surfaces could not be lubricated by the body, leading to wear and loosening and hence the need to replace the joint again (known as revision operations).
Attempts to use teflon produced joints that caused osteolysis and wore out within two years. Another significant problem was infection. Before the advent of antibiotics, surgery on the joints carried a high risk of infection. Even with antibiotic treatments, infection is still a cause for some revision operations. Such infections are not necessarily caused at surgery; they can also be the result of bacteria entering the bloodstream during dental treatment.
The modern artificial joint owes much to the work of John Charnley at the Manchester Royal Infirmary; his work in the field of tribology resulted in a design that completely replaced the other designs by the 1970s. Charnley's design consisted of 3 parts – (1) a metal (originally Stainless Steel) femoral component, (2) an Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene acetabular component, both of which were fixed to the bone using (3) special bone cement. The replacement joint, which was known as the Low Friction Arthroplasty, was lubricated with synovial fluid.
The small femoral head (22.25mm) produced wear issues which made it suitable only for sedentary patients, but - on the plus side - a huge reduction in resulting friction led to excellent clinical results. For over two decades, the Charnley Low Friction Arthroplasty design was the most used system in the world, far surpassing the other available options (like McKee and Ring).
In 1960 a Burmese orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. San Baw (29 June 1922 – 7 December 1984), pioneered the use of ivory hip prostheses to replace ununited fractures of the neck of femur ('hip bones'), when he first used an ivory prosthesis to replace the fractured hip bone of an 83 year old Burmese Buddhist nun, Daw Punya. This was done while Dr San Baw was the chief of orthopeadic surgery at Mandalay General Hospital in Manadalay, Burma. Dr San Baw used over 300 ivory hip replacements from the 1960s to 1980s.
He presented a paper entitled 'Ivory hip replacements for ununited fractures of the neck of femur' at the conference of the British Orthopeadic Association held in London in September 1969. An 88% success rate was discerned in that Dr San Baw's patients ranging from the ages of 24 to 87 were able to walk, squat, ride the bicycle and play football a few weeks after their fractured hip bones were replaced with ivory prostheses. Dr San Baw's use of ivory was, at least in Burma during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s (before the illicit ivory trade became rampant starting around the early 1990s) cheaper than metal. Moreover, due to the physical, mechanical, chemical, and biological qualities of ivory, it was found that there was a better 'biological bonding' of ivory with the human tissues nearby the ivory prostheses. An extract from Dr San Baw's paper, which he presented at the British Orthopeadic Association's Conference in 1969, is published in Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British edition), February 1970.
Aromatherapy Essential Oils – An Inheritance Well Acclaimed
The use of essential oils, which is derived from the pure essence of a plant, is not new. Though the term aromatherapy was coined only in the 1920s (by Gattefossй in 1928), people knew of aromatherapy essential oils from the prehistoric times. Starting from the Chinese to Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Persian and Indian civilizations, each have added to the science of essential oils and to aromatherapy as a whole.
Research still continues in the field of aromatherapy essential oils, with new developments being made in the field. Aromatherapy and essential oils are no longer limited to cosmetic or aromatic uses only. Many of the essential oils have been proved to have medicinal and therapeutic benefits too. Take lavender oil for instance. French chemist Gattefossй would have been unaware of the properties of lavender oil to give instant relief without any scar in cases of burn, until he burnt his hand and accidentally put his hand in the jar full of the essence of lavender. Similarly, there are a large number of essential oils that have medicinal properties. The 'tulsi' plant or Indian basil, distinct through its strong aroma and taste, is considered "the elixir of life" since it is thought to bring longevity. The use of the plant’s extracts is made to treat illnesses like headaches, inflammation, heart disease, and malaria. The essential oils derived from ‘karpoora tulsi’ have found use in the manufacture of herbal toiletry.
Essential oils are derived from almost every part of the plant. Leaves, stems, flowers, roots, etc are distilled through steam or water to result into essential oils. Consequently, aromatherapy essential oils contain the true essence of the plant. In its purest form, a few drops of essential oil can give the same results that loads of that plant would have given. This is because essential oils are available in concentrated form.
Though referred to as oil, essential oils in aromatherapy do not give that oily feeing. Except for a few oils such as patchouli, orange and lemongrass, most oils are clear and see-through.
Aromatherapy essential oils must be differentiated from the perfume or fragrance oils. While essential oils contain the purest essence of the plant, fragrance oils are made of artificially created substances as a whole or a part of it. Fragrance oils may cause allergies or other skin reaction because of the use of artificial substances; but the use of essential oils brings upon no such allergic reaction.
Aromatherapy essential oils can be used by people either through inhalation or by applying them on skin in a diluted form. When essential oils are inhaled, they enter the bloodstream and lungs directly, thus producing an instant effect on the ailment.
Applying aromatherapy essential oils on the body is good for absorption. Since essential oils are available in a concentrated form, they need to be diluted using carrier oil. Sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, grape seed oil, etc are blended with the essential oil; and the mixture is used on the body or the part that is afflicted.
One needs to be very careful while purchasing an essential oil. Though readily available, people are not well equipped to differentiate between the good quality and poor quality essential oil. The following checklist might be helpful to all those people who are on their way shopping for aromatherapy essential oils:
• A vendor who allows you to check the essential oil is preferred more.
• If the bottle containing essential oils has terms such as fragrance oils, nature identical oils; they are not essential oils.
• Never buy a bottle of essential oil that seems old. It might be adulterated or just might not produce the medicinal benefits.
• A clear glass bottle of essential oils allows light to come in, thus reducing its aroma therapeutic benefits. Avoid buying essential oils that are sold in clear glass bottles.
• Essential oils sold in plastic bottles too must be avoided as it dissolves plastic and becomes contaminated for use.