My surgeon a prosthesis pioneer

There are quite a few amputees here.  Most appear to be waiting for their stumps to strengthen before being fitted with and learning to walk with prostheses – artificial legs.

Traditionally this has been an artificial limb which you put on or take off. I well remember as an undergraduate, when a group of us went swimmining in the River Cherwell, seeing one guy leave his jeans with the articial leg sticking bizarrely up into the air.

I have just been learning that a new, still unusual procedure is to put a titanium implant into the bone of the stump and attach the prosthesis permanently to it.  This is known as osseointegration and sounds very similar to the technology used for my expensive tooth implants!

It  turns out that my surgeon, Marion Bertrand, is the leading pioneer of this technique in France. So far only a handful of amputees have benefited from this procedure. A fellow patient here, a young woman in her late thirties, is awaiting the operation, having formerly had a traditional artificial limb.

All three of her patients here – this young woman, Nadine and me – are really pleased that a woman has made it in the male dominated world of surgeons – and retains qualities of patient care and communication.

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