Osseointegration is a revolutionary procedure for amputees that utilizes a titanium rod implanted in the bone of the residual limb to attach the prosthetic appliance instead of a traditional socket. Over time, the existing bone and the titanium fuse together, creating a single structure that offers a number of advantages over a prosthetic socket including:
- Fast and easy donning/doffing
- No more fit issues due to weight gain/loss
- No problems with perspiration since no liners are required
- No pressure sores or skin irritation
- Better outcomes for hard-to-fit patients, such as those with very short residual limbs
In short, osseointegration can allow amputees to wear a prosthetic for longer periods of time with greater comfort than a typical socket prosthesis which in turn provides better quality of life!
Nearly anyone with a prosthesis can be a candidate for osseointegration, as it is currently offered for above and below knee amputees and above and below elbow amputees. In addition, osseointegration can be used to affix maxillofacial prosthetics and finger or toe prosthetics.
A Step Ahead has been on the forefront of osseointegration support for years! In 2008, Erik Schaffer, C.P. traveled to Sweden to meet with Dr. Rickard Brånemark of Integrum, a pioneer in osseointegration surgery. There he learned how to design prosthetics systems to compliment and enhance the outcomes of the procedure. Even though it had not been approved in the USA, Erik saw the enormous potential of osseointegration for A Step Ahead’s patients and began collaborating with some of the world’s top orthopedic hospitals and surgeons to further the cause of osseointegration.
Often people look into osseointegration as a last resort due to pain and discomfort caused by their current prosthesis. They choose to come to A Step Ahead prior to their surgery decision, to see if they are in fact a viable candidate for the surgery or if their issues stem from their current prosthetic system. It is a wise choice considering the health and financial costs involved.