Bioabsorbable implants: review of clinical experience in orthopedic surgery

Ann Biomed Eng. 2004 Jan;32(1):171-7. doi: 10.1023/b:abme.0000007802.59936.fc.


Bioabsorbable implants are widely used in orthopedic surgery today and the worldwide market is expanding rapidly. Despite the popularity of these implants, reports of complications continue to appear in the literature. Although the complications rarely have an adverse affect on long-term outcomes, the reports are too numerous to be mere isolated incidents related to one specific implant. Complications have been reported with most of the commercially available implant materials with varying incidence rates and severities of reactions to the implants. The purpose of this review is to summarize the adverse events that have been reported in clinical trials of bioabsorbable implants in orthopedic surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants / adverse effects*
  • Biocompatible Materials / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Orthopedic Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / instrumentation
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Polyesters / adverse effects*
  • Polyglycolic Acid / adverse effects*
  • Polymers / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / etiology*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polyesters
  • Polymers
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • poly(lactide)
  • polyglyconate