Five years ago, at about this time, I was returning to the ward at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore in proud possession of a shiny new ITAP. Actually, on reflection, it wasn’t that shiny any more as it was covered in ooze! Fortunately for me the ooze dried up pretty quickly and within a few months, guided by careful application of physio-led exercise, I was back walking on my prosthetic in a manner that profoundly redefined my level of disability. For the vast majority of the activities of everyday life and beyond, my surgery five years ago effectively gave me my leg back. That may sound like an overstatement but it is hard not to feel so empowered when I can now do the things that I can do!
However, when osseointegration techniques make one of their regular appearances on social media there seems to be a division of opinion in the discussion. Access to implant technology is often limited in a fashion that makes it controversial, the costs are not inconsiderable, these techniques have application to a limited number of amputees and there is a perception of limited functionality with an implant. All these factors restrict the enthusiasm of the majority of amputees when implants are discussed. I sincerely hope these barriers to large scale implant uptake are overcome as the slowly rising numbers of recipients spread the word on their newly rediscovered capabilities, thus allowing ITAP and similar technologies to benefit anyone that has the need for them without having to take a bold and potentially costly step into the unknown!