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Icky, not sticky. Used orthotics

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Post by CHILLIN Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:35 am

I know, difficult subject matter, but I am serious. An Orthopedic Surgeon has told me that the prices of orthotic implants from the U.S. Japan and Europe have skyrocketed. The price of a hip orthotic is now 70,000 pesos. I am wondering, in the case of death, can these appliances be thoroughly sterilised, etc., and reused? For lower income people the cost of extraction could easily cover funeral and burial costs. Not as controversial as recycling actual body parts.
Metal or ceramic orthotics have a life well over 25 years.
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Post by Jreboll Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:59 am

From time to time rumors pop up on those re-using medical devices. I believe pacemakers from cadavers were also re-used. I’m not sure on the truth of these stories. Having said that, many orthopedic implants have surfaces that invite the growth of bone into them. For example the shaft of the femur head prosthesis has a grainy surface that is inserted into the femur. I don’t think you could clean it well enough to re-use it. However, the plates used to mend fractures might be used.
These practices would not go well with the manufacturing companies so they use their influence to outlaw them.

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Post by ferret Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:37 pm

Agreed Jreboll! Both of my hubby's hip replacements had the bone growth through them. It is now common practice simply because it makes them far stronger than the "glue" that they used to use and they last longer too.
On the flip side of that, the titanium does not melt in a crematorium oven...
https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/crematoriums-recovering-precious-metals-dead-bodies-1.4623039
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Post by CHILLIN Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:20 pm

There seems to at least a couple charities collecting and donating medical devices to developing countries. Ghana is one of them.. It is a shame that like in Mexico, there are people undergoing tremendous pain because they, or their families, cannot afford the price of the orthotic. Public hospitals are generally non profit (with some newer efforts for cost recovery now in Mexico). The doctors and surgeons are on salary, so the main obstacle is the price of the orthotic.
Some people have religious convictions about being interred with same parts they were born with. In Mexico, this has resulted low numbers of organ donors. These metal and ceramic bits are different though. You were not born with them, and the donation of a medical device could make a real difference in a living persons life.
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