Vall d'Hebron performs implants in the femur that allow a prosthesis to be put on and removed with a click.
Jose Bellart, 73, was the first of the three patients operated on in a one-time osseointegration surgery program at the Vall D'Hebron Hospital promoted by surgeon Dr. Pablo Corona.
In José's case, he suffered a transfemoral amputation in 2007 due to a motorcycle accident and has been fighting for 12 years with his conventional socket prosthesis. He tells us how this surgery has changed his life: “I stopped going to the gym because my prosthesis was falling of, I was traumatized. This is something else; I feel the ground, where I put my leg, I walk with my femur, my back doesn't hurt from standing for a few minutes, my prosthesis doesn't jump when I sit down and I can put on the prosthesis in seconds with a click and an allen key”.
The Dr. Pablo Corona explains: "prostheses have evolved a lot electronically, some even with a mobile application, but the subjection to the body is still as it was centuries ago." The one-time osseointegration system consists of placing a titanium piece in the amputated leg that integrates into the bone tissue of the femur. This piece comes out of the stump and has a universal adapter that can be fitted with any type of lower extremity prosthesis.
Despite having decreased the infection rate of this type of surgery, for now the Vall D'Hebron team will go step by step and is only indicating this surgery to patients who cannot live with the other prosthesis. They state that so far they have done three cases and prefer to have more experience before expanding the indication of the osseointegration procedure.
The Dr. Almudena Crespo, an expert in rehabilitation, explains that the rehabilitation process is a fundamental part of the success of the surgery. She says that it starts long before the patient leaves the hospital and that it is a process of progressively increasing strength in the stump until she can walk freely in six months.