inMotion Magazine

September | October 2019 40 In the past, 100 technological advances have taken us from the Model T to the Tesla. Landline telephones have become almost obsolete while cell phones evolved from heavy bricks to tiny mobile devices we carry in our pockets with limitless capabilities. In that same time frame, a piece of technology that is very important to millions of amputees has remained basically unchanged. The prosthetic socket, born out of the Civil War, is still in use today. Despite minor changes in style, materials and manufacturing processes, prosthetic sockets are essentially a bucket, a chamber of sorts, forcing you to support your body weight on muscle and soft tissue. For many amputees, the standard prosthetic socket can be bulky, cumbersome, uncomfortable and self-limiting. Sadly, many amputees are incapable of tolerating or wearing sockets. If you are an amputee who has socket challenges that made wearing a socket impossible, there is a good chance a Google search has brought you to something called osseointegration. What is osseointegration, and why isn’t it commonly available in the United States? What is osseointegration? Let’s start by breaking down the word: “osseo,” the Latin term for bone, and “integration,” to combine into an integral whole. By its medical definition, osseointegration refers to the implantation of a medical device into bone so that the bone can grow into, bond and become one with the implant. Connecting the implant directly to the terminal prosthetic device improves function and the “feel” of the prosthesis. OSSEOINTEGRATION: Coming Soon Photo courtesy of Nikki Grace-Strader. Nikki Grace-Strader Technology