What is Osseointegration?

Although traditional prosthetic sockets are still used by the wider amputee population in the UK, a procedure known as Osseointegration is becoming a popular alternative.

Osseointegration (OI), also known as direct skeletal fixation (DSF), is a pioneering procedure that involves fitting a titanium implant directly into the bone, allowing for a prosthesis to be connected to it. This method represents a significant departure from the traditional approach of fitting a socket to a residual limb, which has been the prominent method for hundreds of years. 

Osseointegration was discovered in the 1950s and introduced to the UK in the 1990s. Initially an option for above the knee amputees, the technique is increasingly being used to treat below the knee and upper limb patients thanks to the increase in the collective global experience of the procedure.

The insertion of a titanium implant into the bone is performed as part of a one or two stage surgery. After this, a period of gradual and increased loading through the implant then takes place

The benefits of being able to walk on prosthetics are acknowledged as being both psychological as well as physical. It can dramatically improve the lifestyle of the individual as well as their long-term health, in addition to reducing dependency and potentially providing the opportunity to return to work if they have not been able to before.  Because the prosthesis is directly attached into the bone, patients feel it as being part of their own body by natural osseoperception. The removal of the need for a socket also has the benefit of eliminating any long term challenges associated with their use, such as chafing, rubbing, friction, excoriation, ulcers and infections. Good hygiene and care around the site where the abutment protrudes out of the body is essential to reduce the risk of infection, although inflammation of the bone is rare.

Potential benefits of Osseointegration:

  • A better quality of life
  • Comfort without the use of sockets
  • Increased prosthetic use
  • More stability and increased safety when walking
  • Improved comfort when seated
  • Minimal skin complications
  • Osseoperception

At Dorset Orthopaedic, we work with Associate Professor Munjed Al Muderis, Orthopaedic Surgeon based in Sydney, Australia and together we provide a Total Rehabilitation package for amputees.

Why not come to one of our Osseointegration open days and speak to amputees that have been through the procedure and see the quality of life they enjoy for yourself!

For more information please call us on 0800 433 2239 or email enquiries@dorset-ortho.com

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