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Systematic review of the safety and efficacy of osseointegration prosthesis after limb amputation. BJS 2018; 105: 1731-1741.

Published: 11th October 2018

Authors: S. K. Kunutsor, D. Gillatt, A. W. Blom


Osseointegration, an approach for direct skeletal attachment of a prosthesis to an amputated limb, may address many of the problems associated with socket prostheses. The safety of osseointegration remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to summarize evidence on functional and clinical outcomes, as well as adverse effects of osseointegration for patients with a limb amputation.


MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library were searched to April 2018. Eligible studies were observational, case and qualitative studies, and RCTs conducted in patients with a limb amputation, who were managed with osseointegrated prostheses and had follow‐up data.


Twenty‐two eligible articles comprising 13 unique studies were included. No RCT was identified. Apart from three case reports that comprised one to five patients, the sample size of studies ranged from 11 to 100 participants. All relevant studies reported improvement in functional outcomes (walking ability, prosthetic use and mobility), satisfaction and quality of life following osseointegration, compared with their preoperative status or when using a conventional socket prosthesis. Infection rates ranged from 1 (95 per cent c.i. 0 to 5) to 77 (59 to 88) per cent. The majority of infections were described as low‐grade soft tissue or superficial infections related to the skin–implant interface, and were treated effectively with antibiotics. None of the studies reported additional amputation or death as a result of osseointegration.


Osseointegration after limb amputation improves prosthetic use, comfort when sitting, walking ability, mobility, gait and quality of life. However, it is associated with an increased risk of soft tissue infection.

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