Osseointegration (OI) is a method of permanent anchorage of an artificial limb to the human skeleton. The term osseointegration comes from the Greek word “osteon”meaning bone and the Latin word “integrare” meaning to make whole.
The surgical procedure involves a metal implant, usually titanium, being inserted into the bone of the arm or leg with the end of the implant protruding through the skin. The prosthesis is attached to the implant via a connector replacing the need for a socket.
The advantages of osseointegration include better load baring alignment with the skeleton and the absence of socket related issues such as swelling, shrinkage, rubbing or chaffing. The prosthesis can also be donned and doffed with ease.
The main disadvantage of osseointegration is the stoma or open wound at the distal end of the stump. This requires constant care to avoid the risk of infection.
The first Australian amputee underwent osseointegration in 1995. OPS assist a number of clients who have decided upon this procedure. Our first client underwent osseointegration in 2013. Take a moment to listen to her personal journey.