May 22, 1972

Polyurethane or Methacrylate For Arthroplasty

Author Affiliations

College of Physicians & Surgeons Columbia University, NY

JAMA. 1972;220(8):1135. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200080071029

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To the Editor.—  I have just read, with considerable interest and dismay, Dr. Mandarino's reply (219:512, 1972) to Dr. Eftekhar's article on low-friction arthroplasty (218:705, 1971). Dr. Mandarino suggests, if I interpret his remarks properly, that we reconsider the use of polyurethane foam (Ostamer) as a substitute for methylmethacrylate as the "filler" material in low-friction arthroplasty. Should any of your readers, whom he implores to become innovative, decide to follow this approach, they first should determine the incidence of problems with Ostamer. These were adequately documented in the early 1960s, to such a degree that the material no longer is in general use by the orthopedists. Furthermore, they should ascertain the position of the Food and Drug Administration on Ostamer. This is not the place to engage in a detailed discussion of the biological and biomechanical properties of polyurethane vis-à-vis methyl-methacrylate. Suffice it to say, that the latter material has