Mark is the managing director of an engineering business in Australia who has always been passionate about engineering and mechanics. At the age of 47, Mark was involved in a serious car accident and his right arm was amputated. He was fitted with state-of-the-art myoelectric prostheses, but their limited functionality, mainly due to his high amputation, did not meet Mark’s needs causing him to engage in a continuous search for something better. After seeing the documentary with Erik Ax, Mark felt the OPRA™️ Implant System was the only procedure that could give him back his shoulder function. His case was considered the most difficult osseointegration procedure attempted due to Mark’s short humerus of only 11cm. However, he was eager and persistent until he was treated in Sweden in 2008.
Four years on, he see it as “a life changing experience and a total success” he continues “it made life feel normal again!” He is able to use the prosthesis successfully and regaining function helped him to eliminate depression and post-traumatic stress. One of the best things for Mark was also gaining relief from phantom pain. He found that the reliable connection to the abutment removed many negative aspects related to using a harness or uncomfortable socket, such as odour, excess perspiration and skin irritation. The solid connection also improved his spatial awareness of the prosthetic hand. “At times forgetting one is an amputee” Mark said. When asked for the treatment’s downsides, he recalls having a “small post-operative problem on the skin interface which was successfully treated”, which Mark saw as a “short-term negligible inconvenience”.
Mark believes that “OPRA increases functionality in many ways, balances your body, counteracts back problems and even improves personal relationships through regained body language. Therefore, I would recommend the treatment to any amputee, especially in short proximal amputations like mine.”
Now Mark continues working and is in the process of designing and building his own prosthetic devices. He is able to draw on his own experiences to help other people who find themselves in a similar situation.