A pioneering new prosthetic implant is making changes and improvements for veterans transitioning back to civvy street with an amputation.
The new prosthetic is transforming the opportunities available to veterans, and aiding their recovery, when they return to civilian life with an injury or amputation.
While a traditional prosthetic’s socket is made to fit on to the amputee’s stump, even top quality prosthetics can move around, making them uncomfortable or painful to wear. However, the new method promises improved functionality and comfort for wearers.
Called the osseointegration method, the process involves inserting a titanium rod implant directly into the bone of the amputated limb, connecting it to the prosthesis. This enables the the prosthetic limb to stay in place more firmly than the traditional method allows.
With the implant fused to the bone, recipients of the procedure can feel and sense surfaces beneath the leg in a different way to a current socket prosthesis.
One of the first people to have this operation was David Sneddon, who used a prosthetic leg for years after being injured in Afghanistan.
David opted to have the operation after his old prosthetic prevented him from fully partaking in activities he enjoyed, such as golf and playing football with his sons.
Speaking to BBC Scotland’s The Nine, he told of how the operation had transformed his life since receiving his prosthetic in December of last year.
David’s prosthetic includes a microprocessor knee fitted with sensors that read the terrain of the ground he’s walking on.
With the help of strength exercises and rehabilitation appointments, David is constantly building stamina, and is planning for the future with the confidence the new prosthetic has brought.
The number of osseointegration prosthetics is expected to grow, following the success of previous procedures.