ITAP trial at RNOH: the next generation of prosthesis?

Transhumeral ITAP implant

The Guardian report on the ITAP (intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthesis) trial at RNOH that is transforming the lives of amputees and leading developments in the next generation of prosthetic limbs. Read what patient Mark O'Leary has to say about taking part in this important trial.

ITAP is a new reconstructive technique for patients who have had limbs amputated. The process involves the insertion of a metal implant into the bone of the stump. This metal implant is then used as an anchor so that a prosthetic limb can be attached. Each implant is custom-built so that it fits each patient’s bone.

ITAP is expected to improve the comfort, control and feel of prosthetic limbs. Over a period of months the implant will become integrated with the bone it has been inserted in to, ensuring a firm bond is formed.

The implant used in ITAP is also specially designed to integrate firmly with the skin in the same way your gums stick tightly around your teeth. This helps produce a firm seal that stops infections developing around the implant. The firm seal also helps reduce infection, by preventing bacteria from slipping into the space between the implant and the skin.

A small clinical trial is currently taking place for patients who have had their leg amputated between the knee and the hip. So far 16 patients have been operated on (12 at the RNOH and four in Birmingham). The preliminary results of the trial are very encouraging with ITAP having a transformational effect on the lives of some of the patients who have received it. The ITAP investigational device is not yet CE marked and remains subject to the pre-approval clinical study.

Lower limb ITAP was fist implanted at the RNOH and is the latest in a history of orthopaedic firsts at the hospital. ITAP was developed as part of a collaboration between Stanmore Implants Worldwide Ltd and University College London. ITAP is the result of clinicians, scientists and commercial companies working closely together for the benefit of patients.

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