Iaman is looking at having a hip joint replaced. He sent me a link to the Zimmer company that makes artificial hip joints. Right off the bat they start talking about how they've added Vitamin E to the material they use to make these joints, which sets off a bunch of alarm bells in my mind. Vitamin E?!? Isn't that what they claim to add to shampoo to make your hair more lustrous and beautiful? Isn't that what the quacks are peddling on the TV infomercials? It just sounds nuts.
It doesn't help that nobody else besides Zimmer has anything to say about it. Still, I read what Zimmer has to say and I watched some of their videos, and it could actually be legit. They claim that adding Vitamin E to the mix makes their joints last longer, possibly for as long as you live. Up till now artificial hip joints were only good for a certain number of years, like ten or twenty, and then you had to have them replaced.
The Vitamin E reduces the rate of oxidation, and oxidation is what causes the polyethylene to deteriorate. There are a number of substances that will perform this same function, but all the others they have tried elicit an immune response from the body (it's a foreign invader! Attack!). The human body accepts Vitamin E as a benign and does not react to it.
|Hip Joints X-Ray|