Healthcare Industry News:  Total Shoulder 

Devices Orthopaedic

 News Release - June 17, 2010

Ascension Orthopedics Implants First PyroTITAN(TM) Humeral Resurfacing Prosthesis Outside the U.S.

AUSTIN, Texas, June 17 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Ascension Orthopedics, Inc., a market leader in PyroCarbon orthopedic implants, announces the first implantation of the PyroTITAN™ Humeral Resurfacing Arthroplasty outside the United States. The PyroTITAN was implanted last month in Brisbane, Australia in a 46-year-old patient who reported "immediate pain relief" within 24 hours of surgery. The PyroTITAN Humeral Resurfacing implant is the first commercially-available shoulder arthroplasty prosthesis made of PyroCarbon in the world.

"This was a young patient with severe intractable pain not responsive to oral medication. His pain interfered with sleep and was combined with a significant loss of range of motion. Traditionally in a patient of this age, you would be concerned about performing a Total Shoulder arthroplasty due to his activity level and functional expectations. On the other hand, with damage to his glenoid as a consequence of a fracture dislocation 15 years previously, you would also have significant concerns performing a metal hemiarthroplasty. The promise of PyroCarbon hemiarthroplasty is the potential for preservation of the native glenoid, even when the cartilage is not perfect," stated Mark Ross, MB.BS.FRACS( ORTH), the orthopedic surgeon who performed the surgery.

Jerome Klawitter, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer of Ascension Orthopedics, commented, "Ascension's commitment to research with PyroCarbon technology is based on the material's enhanced wear resistance and biocompatibility against native bone and cartilage compared to other bearing surfaces such as cobalt chrome, titanium and ceramic. Native joints have been shown to lubricate through the adsorption of surfactant to cartilage, providing boundary layer lubrication. Similarly, adsorption of surfactant onto graphitic surfaces aids in lubricating joints, offering favorable wear characteristics against native cartilage."

"Ascension is dedicated to building on our experience of successfully using PyroCarbon for hemiarthroplasty in joints of the hand and wrist. Published long-term survivorship rates of hemiarthroplasty with traditional metals in the shoulder have been less than ideal. We believe PyroCarbon can change outcomes by offering a cartilage friendly option to younger patients with diseased joints. The unique properties of PyroCarbon make it an ideal material for hemiarthroplasty, offering the potential to extend the life of these replacements and improve patients' quality of life," stated Guy Mayer, President and CEO of Ascension Orthopedics. Mayer further added, "We are currently working with key opinion leaders in Europe to establish sites for important post-market clinical studies."

Ascension Orthopedics is the world leader in PyroCarbon arthroplasty with over 35,000 PyroCarbon extremity joints implanted. Other currently marketed devices include PyroCarbon implants for the finger joints and base of the thumb, a lunate implant for the wrist, and an interpositional implant for the tarsometatarsal joint of the midfoot. Ascension plans to expand its range of shoulder offerings with a modular Total Shoulder system that includes a PyroCarbon hemiarthroplasty option and has several other PyroCarbon-based extremity products at various stages of development.

Ascension Orthopedics was founded in Austin, Texas in 1996. The company's first product was an innovative pyrolytic carbon total joint replacement for the MCP joint of the hand. Its joint replacement product line has since expanded to include implants for the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, foot and ankle. Ascension's mission is to transform extremities by developing state-of-the-art orthopedic products for the upper and lower limbs to help patients suffering from pain and dysfunction. Ascension Orthopedics sells products in the United States and in more than 23 countries worldwide. For further information, please visit

Source: Ascension Orthopedics

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