Background and History

The orthopaedic implant performance and retrieval program was initiated in 1996 with the arrival of Dr. Clare M. Rimnac to Case Western Reserve University.  At that time, in collaboration with Dr. Matthew Kraay and Dr. Victor Goldberg, the Orthopaedic Implant Retrieval and Analysis Laboratory, a joint effort of the Departments of Orthopaedics and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at CWRU was created.   Dr. Rimnac also oversees related fundamental implant materials characterization studies in laboratory facilities in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at CWRU dedicated to orthopaedic biomechanics and biofabrication/biomanufacturing.  In 2012, in keeping with the expansion of its programmatic efforts, the Center for the Evaluation of Implant Performance, was established under the co-direction of Dr. Clare Rimnac (Case School of Engineering) and Dr. Matthew Kraay (Case School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center).

In 2000, in partnership with Dr. Steve Kurtz at Drexel University, a multicenter implant retrieval program, funded by the NIH, was established.  Over the years, this successful program has grown and now has more than a dozen participating sites. The architecture of this scalable, multicenter orthopaedic implant retrieval program is unique and provides an unmatched ability to comprehensively integrate and assess the material, design, and clinical factors that affect implant performance.  Further, this is achieved across a broad geographic and demographic cross-section of the United States. The innovation of the multicenter retrieval program design lies both in its conception and in its sustained execution over a 14-year period, with continuous research funding support from the NIH and additional support from private foundations and industry.

This innovative approach to retrieval analysis was recognized by the Hip Society, which conferred the Otto Aufranc award to our group in 2006 for “innovative research, either clinical or basic, encompassing important advances in the management of hip disorders.” Our contributions to retrieval analysis of modular connections in metal-on-metal hips was also recognized in 2012 by the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, which conferred the Rand Award to our group for the most outstanding paper in the field of arthroplasty surgery.

Over the last nearly two decades, on our own and in collaboration with our multi-center partners, the Center for the Evaluation of Implant Performance at CWRU has contributed numerous publications and presentations to the orthopaedic community on topics related to implant performance.