View Full Version : Carbon fibre replacements in orthopaedic medicine

Mike Lake
04-11-2007, 04:20 AM
Dear All,

I have recently been searching the 'web' for any information on the
lower knee joint end of the femur breaking off and have been
unsuccessful so far.

To explain I was the happy recipient of a complete set of replacement
knee ligaments 11 September 1979 and understood at that time I was the
first person to have the four ligaments replaced at one time and I can
happily confirm they behaved perfectly up until 26th. January this year.

Whilst doing my daily 'Health walk' I had a fall on ice and
unfortunately I have broken off the Knee joint 'ball' end of my Femur as
a result of that fall.

I have myself researched the operation procedure on the web and
basically see how the original ligaments were replaced by one continuous
single length of quadruple stranded carbon fibre and attached to the
bone by passing the material through holes being precisely aligned and
drilled at the knee joint through the ball end of the Femur and the
'socket' end of the Tibia.

Due to what I have now found out reference the attaching of the
replacement implants being generally as described above it is my opinion
that this procedure explains how come my lower Femur joint has broken

When I went down my left leg went forward whilst my right buckled
beneath and behind me thus the ligaments were suddenly put under
enormous strain due to the carbon fibre replacement ligaments being so
strong they did not give or snap instead they were stronger than my bone
at that position.

The result of the ligaments suddenly coming under this tension resulted
in the bone of my femur failing along shear planes that in each case has
followed on either side of the two original drilled holes made by the
surgeon to guide/secure my new anterior and posterior cruciate

I am fully accepting that I now have a major problem and understand that
my femur lower joint bone will not readily heal indeed I have already
been advised I will need a new knee joint.

However it is my humble opinion based on my engineering background that
the normal joints currently available are poorly designed due to tapered
anchoring INSIDE the Tibia bone and I think this is the main reason for
their relatively limited life.

It is apparently well known and a reported fact the replacement joint
crushes the lower joint area bone of the Tibia and the replacement has
to be remade.

Why I make this contact to the membership is because I suspect that my
current problem can not be unique although up to now I personally can
find no reference to similar instances despite many hours trawling the
web and phone calls to contacts thus found.

I was wondering if someone reading this may have come across similar
trauma breakages OR know of anyone else who may or alternatively has
anyone done anything either in the past or currently on the lower half
of the femur replacement (maybe even better made in Carbon Fibre).

Yours Mike Lake email: mikelake@talktalk.net