A new study from Sweden demonstrates the results of treatment using osseointegrated prostheses in patients with transfemoral amputations. The treatment improved function and quality of life in nine out of ten patients.
Begun in 1999, the Osseointegrated Prostheses for the Rehabilitation of Amputees (OPRA) study was conducted at the Center of Orthopaedic Osseointegration (COO) and the orthopaedic clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, where researchers treated 51 patients with transfemoral amputations and followed up with them for two years. The patient cohort ranged in age from 20-65, with 55 percent being male.
Rickard Brånemark, MD, a researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy and orthopedic surgeon at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, is one of the authors of the study. “Attaching prostheses directly to the bone with an implant has…been in development for more than 20 years,” he said. “But we are now seeing the international breakthrough for this revolutionary treatment.” Brånemark also noted that work is currently under way on treating other amputation levels, such as fingers and arms, with similar methods.
“This treatment is intended for younger amputees and is not suitable for patients who have had amputations as a result of vascular disease,” he added.
Results of the study were presented at the combined meeting of the International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology (SICOT), the International Research Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology (SIROT), and the Swedish Orthopaedic Association (SOF), held August 31-September 3 in Gothenburg.
Osseointegration, the process by which a prosthesis is screwed into a titanium implant that is anchored to the bone, was first developed in the 1960s by Per-Ingvar Brånemark, MD, and built on the discovery that titanium is not rejected by the body, but instead fuses with the surrounding bone tissue.