Developments in Osseointegration
The benefits of osseointegration for both upper and lower limb amputees has been well recognized and documented in numerous peer reviewed clinical studies. In June of 2015 the FDA provided an HDE approval (Humanitarian Device Exception) for use of the OPRA System (Osseointegrated Prosthesis for Rehabilitation of Amputees) for transfemoral amputees. Work at the University of Michigan has expanded the capability of amplifying peripheral nerve signals by bifurcating these nerves creating a Regenerative Peripheral Nerve Interface (RPNI), showing promise in the goal of restoring independent finger motion.
Additionally, the work at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has demonstrated the surgical replication of agonist-antagonist pairings in the residual limbs of amputees creates a myoneural interface. This enables a refined control of powered prosthetic components.
The recent New England Chapter of American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetics held their annual conference last week October 23-25th in Boston, MA. The conference provided a unique opportunity for Dr. Rickard Branemark to share these ground breaking advances in limb restoration. His presentation and future presentations to the U.S. prosthetists on these topics help communicate not only the possibilities osseointegration holds in store for amputees but also the necessity to engineer an osseointegrated implant, like OPRA, that can remain compatible with future advances in prosthetic terminal devices-hands, feet and knees.