With an increasing number of veterans returning from active duty with combat- related injuries, the demand for functional and reliable orthopedic technologies and surgical procedures has never been greater. And while traditional prosthetics for hand, arm, and leg amputations have become increasingly sophisticated, they can still present limitations for many patients, depending on the extent of their injuries and the current state of the affected limb.
Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel C. Allison has helped countless patients through effective bone anchored prosthesis treatment. Learn more today by calling 310-730-8008 to schedule a consultation in Los Angeles.
Traditional vs. Bone Anchored/Osteointegrated (OI) Limbs
Prosthetic or artificial limbs can help to restore function and mobility after an amputation. In many cases, amputees are able to resume most if not all of their former activities, depending on their circumstances. Traditional prosthetic limbs use a ball and socket design. The socket is secured over the limb, and prosthetic arm or leg is attached.
While this approach continues to work for a large number of people, it is not always appropriate for every patient. If the remaining portion of the limb is too small for example, the cap of the socket for the prosthetic may not fit. In many instances, the prosthetic can be uncomfortable, cause chafing, or other problems with comfort and fit, which can affect overall mobility.
A New Approach to Prosthetic Limbs in Los Angeles
Dr. Daniel C. Allison recently made history as the first orthopedic surgeon to perform an osteointegrated prosthetic limb surgery in Southern California. Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for above the knee amputations, this approach works by anchoring the prosthetic directly to the bone by way of an implant and rod that extends from the implant through the skin, and attaches to the artificial leg.
Dr. Allison performed the pilot surgery on a former police officer with an above-the-knee amputation. Dr. Allison also specializes in limb preservation and treatment for pediatric and adult patients suffering from bone and soft tissue sarcomas, as well as anterior hip replacement for degenerative joint disease, cartilage deterioration, and traumatic injuries.
How it Works: Bone Anchored/Osteointegrated Prosthetic Limb Surgery
With traditional artificial limb replacements, the prosthetic is a removable attachment fit over the limb. With an osteointegrated prosthetic, the artificial limb is attached directly to the bone, so that it functions as an extension of the bone itself. The Osseoanchored Prosthesis for the Rehabilitation of Amputees (OPRA) surgery involves several phases.
In the first phase of osteointegrated prosthetic treatment, a titanium implant is attached directly to the bone of the affected limb, which serves as an anchor for a rod extension that eventually connects the implant to the prosthetic. Once the initial implant has healed (the recovery period can vary from patient to patient;) the general time frame is approximately six months. In the second phase, a rod is connected to the implant. The rod extends through the skin, and connects the prosthetic to the bone via the implant so that it more closely resembles and functions as a natural extension of the limb. The final phase of bone anchored prosthesis treatment involves an additional training period of approximately six months to prepare the recipient for the customized prosthetic limb.
Benefits and Advantages of Bone Anchored Artificial Limbs
Osteointegrated prosthetics are a promising development in the treatment of above-the-knee amputations. Some of the benefits of the bone anchored prosthesis procedure include:
- Increased mobility and function over traditional prosthetics
- Improved comfort
- Viable alternative for adults with above-the-knee amputations who are not candidates for or have experienced complications or limited results with traditional ball and socket design artificial limbs
Although FDA approval is currently limited to use on adult patients with above the knee amputations, the bone anchored prosthesis technology can eventually be used for arm and hand prosthetics as well.
FDA approval was based on the results of a two-year clinical trial that tested the implant’s efficacy using several key mechanical elements, according to a press release issued by the agency announcing the osteointegrated prosthetic device’s approval:
- Patient weight
- Simulation for prolonged repetitive motion activities
“Prostheses can help people who have lost a leg due to trauma or cancer to regain mobility and more easily participate in everyday activities,” said William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “The OPRA device may help those with above-the-knee amputations who have had problems with rehabilitation and have not been able to benefit from available socket prostheses.”
Are Bone Integrated Prosthetic Limbs Safe?
Every surgical procedure carries a risk of complication. The titanium composition of the bone implant helps to minimize the risks of infection with bone anchored prosthesis.
Learn more about prosthetic limbs at WebMD.com.
Orthopedic Surgery and Joint Reconstruction in Los Angeles
For more information on chronic joint pain, osteoarthritis-related joint degeneration, hip replacement surgery, or bone tumors treatment in Los Angeles, contact board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel C. Allison by calling 310-730-8008 to schedule a consultation today.
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