Evolution of Orthopedic Implant Finishing

Any medical device that is used to replace a joint, bone, or cartilage is known as an orthopedic implant. Orthopedic implants have given mobility options to those who have broken, lost, or otherwise damaged their limbs and body parts.

Admittedly, the design and technology of orthopedics have come a long way since its inception. Here is a look at how the process has evolved.

A Brief History of Orthopedics

The first orthopedics institute was established in 1780 by Jean-André Venel at The Great Abbaye of Orbe in Switzerland. At that time, the institute was established as the first hospital dedicated to treating the skeletal deformities of children. Early treatments included tending to curvature of the spine and foot deformities using specifically club-foot shoes.

Unsurprisingly, a key component of orthopedics is the X-rays that tell us what is wrong. The X-ray was invented in 1895, and it revolutionized orthopedic treatment, helping to build on Venel’s early start.

For the first time, doctors could see inside the human body in a non-invasive way and consequently provide better treatment. From there, the development of MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), ultrasounds, digital X-rays, and computed tomography (CT) have allowed orthopedic surgeons to home in on the specific affected areas. Consequently, surgeons have been able to treat patient conditions with greater accuracy and achieve better results with increasingly less-invasive methodologies.

As the technology of the x-ray and other imaging technology would continue to develop, so too would the quality of the implants used to treat patients. Arthroscopy, for example, came to us in the 1960s and was primarily used for knee reconstruction.

The early methodology has significantly evolved, however, and today, Minimally Invasive Arthroscopy is used on just about every joint in the body. Today’s available technologies allow surgeons to quickly assess, diagnose, and treat orthopedic conditions.

Acme’s Role in Orthopedic Implant Robotic Material Removal and Surface Finishing

As a turnkey robotic system integrator of state-of-the-art orthopedic finishing systems for the medical implants industry, Acme is an important part of the conversation of treating orthopedic conditions. Acme built its first robotic finishing cell in 1990 and, since then, has continued to develop its robotic technology to help implant manufactures develop parts faster with higher quality finishes. Today, Acme is a leading orthopedic part finishing solutions provider.

Acme is credited with having installed more than 150 systems worldwide and integrated over 3700 robotic cells.

The Acme Process and Advantage

Thanks to our teams 112 years of experience and partners, Acme remains a literal cut above the rest. The evolution of Acme’s robotic material removal and surface finishing technologies has allowed the company to develop finishing systems for, knee implants, hip stems, spinal implants, and others. Implants can be made of titanium, cobalt chrome, and zirconium.

Depending on the material being used and the type of implant needed, the process from raw material to the implant can include casting, being machined from a solid, metal injection molding (MIM), or forging.

Acme provides customers with both high-quality functionality and a flawless finish.

Our team of medical device finishing specialist have experience assisting customers finishing knee, hip, and spine implants to surgical blades.

National Library of Medicine


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