A recent study suggests minimal risk for severe infection in above-the-knee amputation patients who receive osseointegrated implants.

In this type of prosthetic system, the implant is press-fitted directly into the femur bone, enabling bone growth over a metal, robotic prosthetic limb.

A study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery explains that, using a new infection classification system, researchers tracked adverse events in 86 patients (91 implants) who received a “press-fit” osseointegrated implant between 2009 and 2013. For each patient, the procedure was performed in two stages: first, a porous-coated implant was placed in the femur bone, and second, a stoma, or opening, was created to attach the prosthesis. The patients, ages 25 to 81, were followed for a median of 31 months, according to a media release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The study’s results note that 31 patients had no side effects or complications related to the osseointegration system; 29 patients developed a grade one or two infection, successfully managed with “simple measures”; 26 patients had no infection, but reported other complications such as problems with the orthopaedic hardware, problems with skin and soft tissue, or fracture of the femur bone; and no patients had a grade three or four infection, per the release.

“We can confidently say that this type of prosthesis is a viable choice and the new infection classification system, developed by the Osseointegrated Group of Australia, provides an effective tool for the use in patient selection as well as infection management,” says study author Munjed Al Muderis, MB ChB, an orthopaedic surgeon at Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney, Australia, in the release.

[Source(s): American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Science Daily]