By utilizing a groundbreaking medical technique known as Osseointegration, artificial limbs can now be affixed directly onto a person’s skeleton. This process involves anchoring the prosthetic limb directly onto the bone, resulting in superior functionality when compared to traditional, detachable prostheses. The technology behind this bone-anchored fixation is achieved through the use of titanium, which is fitted to the human bone. This innovation takes advantage of titanium’s biocompatibility, high strength-to-density ratio, corrosion resistance, and lower modulus of elasticity, allowing it to remain securely attached to the bone.
Benefits of Osseointegration Prostheses over Traditional Prosthetic Socket Designs
Designing the right prosthetic limb can be a challenging process, but fear not, the prosthesis experts at Lyons Prosthetics and Orthotics will be happy to help in designing the right prosthesis type for you. It is estimated there are nearly two million people living with limb loss in the U.S., and as such, the use of prosthetic limbs have become quite popular, transforming the lives of millions of amputees, and granting them renewed mobility, independence, and enhanced quality of life.
There are many successful socket designs that can be used with a traditional prosthesis, but in the last two decades, a new technique called bone-anchored osseointegration has gained acceptance and popularity, due to its many benefits over traditional socket designs. As with all prosthetic designs, the osseointegration technique has its pros and cons when compared against traditional socket designs:
Bone-anchored Osseointegration Prosthesis
- Enhanced quality of life.
- Better range of motion.
- Better limb control, and comfort.
- Improved sensory feedback (proprioception, osseoperception).
- Soft-tissue infections.
- Internal bone fractures.
- Increased surgical costs.
- Multiple surgeries might be needed.
Traditional Socket Designs
- Easier access to care.
- Multiple design options.
- No implant present means no infection at the implant site. Skin coverage remains continuous.
- Skin irritations (Sweat/Ulcerations).
- Limited range of motion.
- Limited sensory feedback.
Should You Use a Bone-Anchored Prosthesis?
Due to the complications, if a patient is already successful with a traditional socket design, then they should probably continue using one. The critical factor with socket comfort can often be attributed to the skill of the prosthetist working with you and the patient’s attitude toward prosthetic care. That said, there are some patients who will never be comfortable in a socket. These include patients with short residual limbs, skin grafts, or burns. For those patients, the benefits of a bone-anchored prosthesis may outweigh the risks.
What is osseointegration surgery?
Osseointegration is a surgical procedure available to people who have had an amputation; it involves inserting a metal implant into the bone of a residual limb, which then attaches directly to a prosthesis, eliminating socket-related issues.
Are you a candidate for osseointegration surgery?
Osseointegration surgery might be for you if you are experiencing consistent and significant problems with conventional socket prostheses; these include:
- Inability to use conventional socket designs.
- Soft-tissue scarring (skin grafts and burns).
- Short residual limb length.
You must also meet the following requirements:
- Are between 18 and 70 years old.
- Your bones have reached adult maturity.
- Are cleared for a surgical procedure.
Who is not a suitable candidate for osseointegration surgery?
Osseointegration surgery is not recommended for patients exhibiting the following conditions:
- Advanced peripheral vascular disease
- Under corticosteroid or immunosuppressants.
- Undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
- Mental illness.
- Heavy smokers.
- Osteoporosis and atrophic bone conditions.
- Experiencing an infection.
- Body weight in excess of 224 lbs.
- Skin disease on the amputated limb area.
- Limb exposure to radiation.
Is an Osseointegrated prosthesis more expensive than a standard socket design implant?
No. Although the initial osseointegration surgical costs are more than a standard socket, it is anticipated that the procedure’s cost over time will be lower. The cost savings will be realized from fewer prosthetic modifications such as less maintenance, fewer adjustment visits, and less repairs; and as a result, they can save you money and time.
Orthotic Braces and Prosthetic Limbs for Amputees near Myrtle Beach, Loris, Red Hill, Georgetown and beyond.
If you are looking for custom designed bracing (e.g., Knee Braces), State of the Art Artificial Limbs, and General O&P Care for amputees or individuals with orthopedic injuries, and disabilities in the Horry County area; we recommend calling (843) 347-5800 for a consultation with Alexander Lyons, CPO.
Lyons Prosthetics and Orthotics, Inc. – Serving the Conway, Myrtle beach, Murrells Inlet, North Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Loris, and Florence area communities since 2004. We will be happy to discuss prosthetic options and help you recover your mobility.