Bone-Anchored Prostheses for Bone Cancer Survivors

Anchoring a prosthesis directly to the body can result in a signi´Čücant increase in function and mobility. This approach offers an opportunity to people with amputations related to bone cancer to improve their quality of life.

In some cases of bone cancer, tumors in the legs might be treated with amputation, removing the cancer and all or part of the leg. The trauma of losing a limb from cancer changes life dramatically, and adapting is often very demanding for patients and their families.

People with amputations are traditionally fitted with a socket prosthesis suspended from the amputation stump. Problems related to the socket can include discomfort, sores and pain of the residual limb. Plus, attaching and detaching the prosthesis is often cumbersome. A comfortable and firmly attached prosthesis that can be used all day is generally hard to achieve, which is why some patients choose not to use a prosthesis at all.

Patients who have difficulty wearing their conventional prostheses or those with an upper-extremity amputation may benefit from receiving bone-anchored implants at Northwestern Medicine.

About Bone-Anchored Prostheses

Bone anchorage of prostheses is a pioneering treatment that offers an alternative to conventional socket prostheses, allowing the direct connection of an artificial limb to the skeleton. A bone-anchored prosthesis is firmly attached to the body, allowing you to wear it continuously with greater comfort and freer movement.

Meet the Team

Your team at Northwestern Medicine includes orthopaedic surgeons with expertise in bone-anchored prostheses for survivors of bone cancer or trauma.

The technology behind bone-anchored prostheses is based on osseointegration, which is the ability of titanium to naturally integrate with bone, and thereby stay fixated to the body.

Osseointegrated Prostheses for the Rehabilitation of Amputees (OPRA) is the first bone-anchored prosthesis device to become commercially available.

The OPRA Implant System serves as a stable and direct connection to the amputation prosthesis. The system consists of an anchoring element (the fixture) and a skin-penetrating connection (the abutment), secured with a screw (the abutment screw).

Candidates for Bone-Anchored Prosthesis

The OPRA Implant System is intended for patients with above-knee amputations due to trauma or cancer and those who have rehabilitation problems with a conventional prosthesis. You might be a candidate for a bone-anchored prosthesis if you:

  • Experience complications that make wearing a prosthesis more difficult
  • Cannot use a conventional artificial leg prosthesis
  • Feel significant pain when wearing your prosthesis
  • Experience skin problems from wearing your socket prosthesis

About the Procedure

The OPRA Implant System consists of seven titanium or titanium-alloy parts that are implanted during two surgeries. These parts allow a prosthesis to attach directly to the femur (thigh bone).

The implant components are surgically inserted into the bone of the amputation stump in two separate surgeries. You can continue to use a socket prosthesis between surgeries.

Following surgery, you will stay in the hospital for one to three days. We will line up follow-up appointments for you before you are discharged, including virtual visits for your convenience. After six months, you will be ready to start rehabilitation with your prosthesis.

A physical therapist will work with you through your individually designed mobilization and physical therapy program. The initial rehabilitation period uses a short training prosthesis to “load” the implant, a process that starts with movement without placing weight on the prosthesis.

Additional information about the OPRA Implant System is available at integrum.se.

Locations & Contact Information