By: 22 December 2022
NHS funds first osseointegration surgery at St George Hospital

The first National Health Service (NHS) funded osseointegration surgery, using a revolutionary Osseointegration Prosthetic Limb (OPL) implant, was performed at St George Hospital in late November.

The surgery involves inserting a metal implant into the residual bone of an amputee to which an external prosthesis can anchor directly, thereby eliminating the need for an amputee to use a traditional socket-mounted prosthesis. This technology provides a rigid and intimate biomechanical connection that directly loads the amputee’s skeletal system, improving amputees with improved mobility.

Alex Trompeter, an orthopaedic surgeon and limb reconstruction specialist at St George Hospital, and the National Policy Lead for the British Orthopaedic Association’s Standards for Trauma (BOAST) said it was the first time the OPL technology had been used to treat a public patient.

“This osseointegration technology has been used by British military surgeons for the last few years and it was clear that those patients were recovering faster and experienced fewer complications and infections, with no removals typical of the traditional procedures.”

Mr Trompeter partnered with Professor Al Muderis, an Australian orthopaedic surgeon, who has performed more than half of the total osseointegration surgeries worldwide, including those patients in the UK armed forces.

“Improvements to policy and ultimately the patient’s quality of life will come from combining techniques, technology and a robust, multidisciplinary collaborative approach between clinicians, engineers, and authorities. I look forward to a continued partnership with Professor Al Muderis as well as more cooperation between the UK and Australia to driveprogress in osseointegration,” he said.

Professor Al Muderis said he was humbled that the technology he has pioneered has been funded by the NHS.

“To receive the endorsement of the NHS for osseointegration is a significant step forward in making the surgery available to public patients. While osseointegration surgery isn’t new, the OPL technology I have developed gives patients a shorter rehabilitation time, thereby enhancing the mobility and quality of life of amputees,” he said.

An active humanitarian, Professor Al Muderis is travelling to Ukraine this month to assist the Ukrainian government in treating military and civilian casualties using his osseointegration techniques and technology.