LAS VEGAS —Roy D. Bloebaum, PhD, a research professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine, discussed new research and developments in osseointegration at the Hanger Education Fair and National Meeting, here.

According to Bloebaum, traditional prosthetic sockets can cause discomfort, including muscle atrophy, pressure sores and skin breakdown and stump pain. Prosthetic sockets can also be problematic for patients with multiple limb loss, limited residual limb length, phantom limb pain and heterotopic ossification.

“A solution can be osseointegration,” Bloebaum said.

According to Bloebaum, a percutaneous osseointegrated docking system could mitigate issues caused by traditional prosthetic sockets. The benefits of this technology include direct skeletal connection, reduction of pain, skin breakdown and phantom limb pain, mobility improvement, osseoperception, rapid donning and doffing, increased comfort while sitting and unrestricted wear time.

However, current research with osseointegration is limited, especially research investigating skin implant interfaces. Bloebaum and his colleagues have been evaluating this technique on amputee sheep models to investigate infection prevention strategies, osseointegration, prosthetic design principles and rehabilitative methods and have seen promising results. The sheep were mechanically stable and showed a decrease in infection.

“The design process worked on the sheep,” Bloebaum said. “But people are not sheep. There is much more variation [in humans].”

Bloebaum and his colleagues are applying these results to a Food and Drug Administration early feasibility study, which is currently under way.

For more information:

Bloebaum R. Osseointegration hopes and challenges. Presented at The Hanger Education Fair and National Meeting; Feb.5-7, 2013; Las Vegas.

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