Lose The Socket – How Osseointegration May Improve Outcomes For Amputees

Post from Distinguished Faculty Member; Inger Brueckner, PT

Rehabilitation for patients with limb loss or limb difference is undergoing a huge transformation. The new technology available is changing all the time and can be difficult to keep up. Insurance coverage for new technology is also very challenging.
As someone who works with these patients, the advances that excite me the most are the surgeries. The physicians of The Limb Preservation Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center feel that the limb loss population is under-served.
Osseointegration(OI) of 2 lower limb patients was performed at P/SL on 02/21/2017.

The main concern about OI is infection risk. If the device needs to be removed due an infection, then the residual limb may have to be shortened, and that can be devastating to function.
What makes the OI performed in Denver unique is the porous coating of the OI implant. After over a decade of research, Dr. Ronald Hugate MD has come up with a design that will allow soft tissue to grown into the metal bringing blood supply to limit the infection risk.
Suspension systems can create skin issues, neuromas and lead to limited mobility and inconsistent control. Removing the socket interface can solve many skin problems. The direct skeletal attachment offers greater sensory feedback through osseoperception. When the limb loss patient moves the residual bone, they have to move through the soft tissue to contact the hard socket and energy is lost. Patients can also have difficulty with fit by gaining or losing as little as 5 pounds, which is a significant problem.


This advancement is only one of many being performed around the world. Because these medical advances improve function, this is a very exciting time to work with such a deserving population.

Thank you Inger!

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Inger speak:

Amputee Rehabilitation Across the Continuum of Care using Evidence Based Practice
June 10-11, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA
October 7-8, 2017 –  Minneapolis, MN
November 3-4, 2017 – Decatur, GA