COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire) – There are as many as two million amputees in the United States. Many are fitted with prosthetic limbs that improve their mobility. But as many as 50 percent of all amputees have a difficult time wearing their prosthetic. Now, a new procedure is making a world of a difference for those living with limb loss, osseointegration.
Thirty-one-year-old Broc Potts feels at home working with his hands. But standing was painful until recently. Potts is a survivor of childhood cancer of the bone. During treatment as a teen, Potts suffered a life-threatening infection.
“They amputated me above the knee because the infection, it was growing so rapidly,” Potts tells Ivanhoe.
For almost a decade, Potts’s old prosthetic rubbed against his residual leg until it was raw.
Potts emphasizes, “Every step I took, it was a stinging, burning and there was nothing I could do about it.”
Joel Mayerson, MD, orthopedic oncologist at The OSU James Comprehensive Cancer Center, had a solution – a new prosthetic procedure known as osseointegration.
“Osseointegration allows us to put a metal bar inside someone’s bone,” Dr. Mayerson explains.
Surgeons then carefully close the area around the bar to prevent infection, leaving a small connection exposed.
Dr. Mayerson says, “Instead of having a socket, like a shoe, we can have a prosthetic leg that just snaps the same way that you would snap a drill bit into a drill.”
“There’s nothing touching outside of my leg. Like, there was that socket giving me blisters. So, this is a whole new feeling,” Potts expresses.
Potts says he’s used to beating the odds. After 30 rounds of chemo, doctors told him he’d be infertile. Now, he’s the head of a full household – ages nine months to nine years.
“I faced doctors saying I couldn’t have kids and now, I have five. But that’s quits for me,” Potts shares.
But he won’t quit when it comes to improving his health and mobility.
Dr. Mayerson says the osseointegration procedure could eventually be combined with a surgery called targeted muscle reinnervation, a nerve surgery that when combined with special electrical connections allows for more intuitive movement of prosthetic limbs.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.
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Dr. Joel Mayerson, MD, orthopedic oncologist at the OSU James Comprehensive Cancer Center
TOPIC: A NEW LEG FOR BROC
REPORT: MB #5080
BACKGROUND: Osseointegration is a surgical procedure that helps amputees improve the function and mobility with their prosthetics. The surgery can be done in one or two stages, as it involves inserting a piece of metal into the limb needed for the prosthetic. People who have had the procedure done often see a reduction in pain from prosthetic, improvement in feeling and the ability to sense your prosthetic without having to look at it. Osseointegration also improves the range of motion, strength, and mobility.
ELIGIBILITY: The osseointegration procedure is for amputees that are having poor experiences
with their current socket prosthetic and for people who have short, wide or scarred limbs or who
are having pain with their socket. The areas that can be most affected are the femur and the
tibia for the lower body area. Osseointegration reduces nerve pain as well since most socket
prosthetic adds pressure to on the remaining parts of the limb left.
NEW SURGERY: Many assessments show that the health technology evaluates the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of the osseointegrated prosthetics versus socket prosthetics. By making the prosthetic more comfortable, it not only makes the prosthetic easier to take on and off for the person but also benefits amputees and may pave the way for the use of targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) which is a nerve surgery meant to enable more natural movement in the prosthetic. Dr. Joel Mayerson at The Ohio State University calls this the “Luke Skywalker Effect” since the brain is moving the body part the way it normally would.
(Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6939984/ https://cancer.osu.edu/news/radical-new-surgery-gives-people-with-amputations-restored-mobility-less-pain)
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