OSSEOINTEGRATION SURGERY FOR AMPUTEES
Alongside Orthopaedic Surgeon Prof Nando Ferreira, Orthotist Eugene Rossouw and Physiotherapist Fransien Rossouw, Dr Gerhard Pienaar is a part of the very team that started doing osseointegration surgeries for amputees in South Africa using the Osseointegration Prosthetic Limb (OGAP-OPL) prosthesis from Australia.
Osseointegration is a surgery done for amputees to implant an extending abutment into the remaining bone of the residual limb or extremity so that a prosthesis can be attached. This is commonly done for prosthetics such as fingers, toes, ears, nose prostheses and legs (when amputated above the knee – known as transfemoral) to improve the quality of life for amputees.
Under general anaesthesia, osseointegration surgery is done by making an incision into the stump after amputation. Next, an abutment (commonly made from titanium) is inserted into the remaining bone by your orthopaedic surgeon. This metal implant extends through the skin out of the residual limb or extremity so that a prosthesis can be made to clip onto it. The prosthesis is modelled on the anatomy of the human body and made by a specialist known as an orthotist and prosthetist.