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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 17 July, 2019
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'Like getting my leg back': Amputees walk more freely with new prosthesis

A clinical trial in a north London hospital shows big improvements for patients with above the knee amputations.

Image: amputee runner via shutterstock

A  DEVELOPMENT IN prosthesis by a north London hospital could mean radical improvements for amputees.

Trials are currently being held where an implant is attached directly to the skeleton of the person using it.

This new technology, known as ITAP (intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthesis) is expected to give those using prosthesis more control and a greater sense of comfort compared with those using traditional attachments.

Traditional prothesis typically use a ball-and-socket attachment where a socket is placed over the stump. This can cause irritation through rubbing.

The new process involves a metal implant being put into the bone of the stump. A prosthetic is then able to be attached to this implant.

The trial of the new attachments are being run in the Royal National Orthopedic hospital (RNOH) in London and the Royal Orthopedic hospital in Birmingham.

The ITAP is described by the RNOH as offering a level of comfort to users:

Over a period of months the implant will become integrated with the bone it has been inserted in to, ensuring a firm bond is formed. The implant used in ITAP is also specially designed to integrate firmly with the skin in the same way your gums stick tightly around your teeth.

So far, 16 patients have been operated on as part of the clinical trial, 12 in the RNOH, and four at the facility in Birmingham.

The trial is being done on patients that have had amputations between the knee and the hip. So far the preliminary results of the trial are described as having a ”transformational effect on the lives of some of the patients who have received it”.

Mark O’Leary from London was one of the first above-the-knee amputees to take part in the trial. Speaking to The Guardian O’Leary said:

It’s like they’ve given me my leg back. I know that sounds a bit trite. With this thing I just click the stump on in the morning and I can walk as far as I like, do anything I want within reason. There’s no limit.

Read: Amputee says goodbye to his foot in heartwarming photo diary

Also: Powerful World Cup advert shows there’s always something to play for

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