One day a version of the Implant will emerge making current implants appear crude and outdated. Will it come from one of the Pioneers, or will a new player arrive and advance the research to a level no one has ever dreamed of? Even though OI has been around since 1990 as it relates to Amputees; to an extent the technology remains in its infancy. Every system will have their die hard fans touting a superior product but as we all know, technology is fluid and constantly evolves. An example would be to advance the technology to the point of guaranteeing a seepage and infection free seal like Stanmore’s ITAP version appears to be close to achieving. Currently the implant exit point is seen as a natural opening or Stoma that is designed to seep. I personally look forward to a day when the standard for all implant manufacturers will be a true seal at the implant – skin interface. Mark O’Leary has been an ITAP patient since 2008 and enjoys the advantages of a true skin to implant seal but so far Stanmore has not been able to duplicate the results in all their patients. I might add that the Stoma approach works quite well and has been proven to be a safe alternative until a true seal breakthrough occurs.
There is a growing number of amputees world wide currently using implant technology and in July of 2015 we saw approval of two fda studies; one utilizing the Swedish OPRA device and the other utilizing the American POP device, which was developed at the University of Utah. There are a few other teams as well, although none of them currently have approval to conduct an fda approved study. These teams are utilizing custom device guidelines which allow them to implant five amputees per year.
The Australian team developed the advanced implant device called the Osseointegration Prosthetic Limb – OPL. They are currently seeking fda approval and anticipate approval in early 2016. Their device has changed the game by offering a single stage surgery and mobilization in most cases one week post op. Gone are the days of long term rehabilitation. The Sydney team has implanted more patients than any other team world wide and offers Osseointegration for Ak, Bk and upper arm applications. They specialize in difficult cases that combine an Osseointegrated implant with hip and knee replacement, as well as bone lengthening.