Hey everybody I got back from a visit with an orthopedic this morning and we're talking about a getting a hip replacement and he mentioned some a hip replacement material that is up one level above Titanium on the periodic table. he mention the name a couple times and I can't remember what it is does anyone know?

Update: I stopped by the Surgeons office again and left him a message. He called back saying it's above the Periodic scale than Titanium - so I believe it's what Bill Oertel had thought on the atomic number. It's called

Trabecular Metal

made out of Tantalum. I recall him saying it was fairly new and I remember it wasn't an option when I looked to have the hip replaced almost 7 years ago. I did see this quote.

Although the high biocompatibility and passive characteristics of tantalum have been documented long ago, its cost and methods of production have limited its use until recently

So maybe that's what he meant, I don't know. At any rate, looks like it's good I waited the 7 years.

2 Answers 2


Artificial hips made out of an element on level above titanium.

The trouble I'm having here: Literally the only four metals/metalloids a period above titanium are beryllium, magnesium, aluminium and silicon (and, to be fair, boron also counts as a metalloid). You don't won't your artificial hip to be made of either one of the four.

Your doctor can not have meant any of the metals above! I recommend to kindly write a letter or an email to your doctor asking for which artificial hip they were referring to, or just call them.

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Today, as this study notes, almost all artificial hips are made of cobalt-based alloys or titanium-based alloys. I therefore think it is safe to assume that your doctor referred to the cobalt hip replacement.

(Cobalt is in the same period as titanium, but has an atomic number of 27 instead of 22. It comes after titanium in any way that one could read the periodic table.)

EDIT: Regarding jet engines, have a look at this article: Advanced Metal Alloys and Their Applications in Jet Engines

  • My wife and I both heard him say it. He said it was relatively new and also used with jet engines as it allowed water to go through it. He said the bone attaches to it really well. I read about titanium and gold compound that was discussed about a year ago.
    – Chasester
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 19:42
  • @Chasester I pointed out that your hip replacement can't be possibly solely be made up of a metal above titanium. Maybe an alloy like titanium alluminium. So either you misheard it or your doctor got it wrong... Feel free to take a look at the periodic table to understand my reasoning.
    – Narusan
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 19:54

I'd venture to guess that when your doctor referred to "above" titanium, he meant towards elements with greater atomic number. If so, my guess is that he/she was referring to zirconium. Zirconium oxide ceramic materials are an alternative to titanium, but according to this article, there are conflicting studies as to their effectiveness. Apparently this alloy is also referred to as Oxinium; when you Google "zirconium hip replacement," you get several references to Oxinium.

  • Thank you,. Maybe but my wife and I both thought it was similar to the name titanium. By the time I thought yo just call the doc office back after googling for a couple hours they'd already closed. I found this on the web. Don't know if it is it or not. dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4391760/…
    – Chasester
    Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 12:45
  • The only other element I can think of that sounds like titanium is vanadium, which is just the next element up in the periodic table, but I cannot find any articles that suggest it is used in hip replacements.
    – BillDOe
    Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 18:08
  • Well I dunno, I'll have to call their office on Monday to try and find it out.
    – Chasester
    Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 21:44
  • I found out. I think you're right on the higher atomic number. He said it's "Trabecular Metal" (Tantilum). I'm going to post the details in my original.
    – Chasester
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 14:24

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