View Full Version : Vitallium 6 mm rods.

12-07-2007, 07:39 PM
I've run several searches for use of this alloy here, and nothing turns up.

I'm convinced - after thorough discussion vis-a-vis and via email with Dr. Hanson - this is a good choice for me (caveat .. yes, ME ... no one else - laff).

Has anyone here been offered this choice, and/or chosen this material?

First hand experiences are welcomed. If you don't have firsthand knowledge (2nd or 3rd will suffice under some scenarios), and you're not a metallurgist (or Structural Analysis Engineer), please think before you respond. I'm looking for factual datum.

(BTW, Vitallium is a trademarked alloy; primarily composed of 60% cobalt, 20% chromium, 5% moly, and it is MRI-able after installation - without distortion ...)


12-08-2007, 12:51 AM
It's truly amazing the advances they can make from year to year!!!

This is the first I've heard of this new "metal". I have titanium.


12-08-2007, 01:29 AM
Laff ... agreed, Shari. I'd not looked at surgery in TEN years because back then, it was unpalatable for me ...

I've been amazed at the changes in diagnosis, treatment options and surgical techniques ...

Although I wish I was heading into surgery at *29* (vs. 39), I am SO glad I waited ...


12-08-2007, 09:06 AM
What are the benefits and cons of the metals used? I don't even know for sure what I have????????? I would have laughed if they would have offered me a choice... i would have asked, "Which one is one sale this week, and what's on clearance?" Is one better because of your past heath problems?

12-08-2007, 09:55 AM

Hanson just prefers Vitallium. One advantage is you can still get a clear MRI after instrumentation - and instead of a lb of hardware (with SS) I *think* he said it would weigh about 6 oz. I'm not sure how important that is ... my guess is probably not much (but that's obviously pure conjecture on my part).

You gave my my first laugh of the day (out loud ... the dog always looks up quizzically when that happens) at "what's on sale?" ... too funny!

I did a ton of research and read it was considered mechanically inferior to SS (more prone to fracture failure, but no clear data on number of cycles - or load). I emailed him a few days ago and asked to elaborate on his preference, and whether it was a good choice for me with the way I play ball (diving, sliding, generally being a maniac - LOL). He emailed me back the next morning with this:

"I haven't had any fatigue fracture with the vitallium rods. As you know, there are two factors that come into play when evaluating the strength of the material, both the material itself and the overall radius of the rods. As the radius of the rod increases (SS is only available in 5.5 mm or 6.35 mm rods, versus 6.0 mm for the vitallium) the overall strength of the rod goes up by a factor of 4. So, I think a 6.0 mm vitallium rod is a good compromise and certainly is quite strong. I don't think that you would have any issues playing softball again as it relates to the strength of the rod."

He been SO AWESOME with communication!


12-08-2007, 03:40 PM
I have no answer for you. . .

I am amazed at the research you have done on this. I guess in many ways I didn't consider that I had a choice. I asked the type of instrumentation that I would get, but not what flavor of metal.

I saw Dr. Hanson this week and told him that I am still on the fence about revision surgery. I left after asking a few questions, but I am in so much pain these days and Hanson seems to be the best qualified surgeon in Houston, that I really don't see how asking such questions will change my outcome. Just a personal preference, you understand.

The one question that I did ask Hanson about was why my SS Harrington rod started to break down. He said that the Harrington rods were prone to release "particulates". That may be one reason why surgeons who do all types of joint replacements have moved away from SS. My sister's hip is titanium (1994) and my friend's femur is also titanium (2002). The MRI issue is something that I had never heard of before and is interesting.

I'm also glad to hear the Dr. Hanson responds to email. I asked for the email address last year when I was considering surgery, but never used it.

Vitallium--funny name.

Now, I'm just rambling. . .sorry.


12-08-2007, 03:50 PM