England Surgeons: Fitting Prosthetic Limbs into Bone

Surgeons in England are using a new technique to fit a prosthetic arm directly into the bone of a patient's arm.

Lawrence McGinty meets one patient testing it out.

Taking tea with Kira Mason, you hardly notice her left arm is a prothesis, but not just any old prosthesis.

Kira is pioneering a new way of anchoring a new arm into the bone, just above where her elbow used to be.

The firm connection into her skeleton means she can do even delicate everyday tasks like opening one of those tiny plastic creamers.

She's the first patient to have the new device that thousands of others could follow her lead.

Kira Mason said, "It’s just fabulous and it's better than anything else I’ve tried before. I have to say the ease with which you can attach it and take it off is fabulous for me. I’m sure other people benefit from that."

It's only one of the good things to come out of the 7/7 bomb attack in London three years. She was standing close to the bomber on the Circle Line train.

A foot near and she'd be dead.

Now Kiera calls the new arm, 'clip and go.' It's so easy to take it on and off. But the clever bit is the design of the titanium rod that goes through her skin into the bone in her upper arm. The skin grows into the rod forms a seal that keeps out bacteria. The surgeons who designed it got the idea from nature from the way red deer grow their antlers.

Royal National Orthopedic Hospital, Steve Cannon said, "The science to create this biological seal which prevents rejection by infection and also allows incorporation of not only the metal to the bone, but of the muscle to the prosthesis and the skin overlying the top of it to seal the whole mechanism."

Now doctors are appealing to other patients to come forward to try the bionic arm.

Volunteers can be from the United States, but you'd have to get to the London facility on your own funds.


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