We appreciate the premise of Osseointegration (OI) because, like us, they believe that a solid linkage is important. Unlike us, however, their connection requires invasive surgery to implant the artificial limb while our connection does not. In addition to rehabilitation time, infection, medications, fear of bone fractures, caution over activity levels, etc., OI is currently non-reversible. Our issue with OI is that many wearers with excellent limb length and condition are not being told about the HiFi as an alternative to existing sockets. Because so many wearers have only their traditional socket to compare, OI could seem like a fantastic way to go. And if all we offered was a sloppy bucket that was uncomfortable, clumsy and made you feel like you were dragging an anchor around, then maybe we’d agree. However, because we feel strongly that unless you have a limb that simply cannot be fit with an interface because it’s too short or too damaged, we offer a better solution.
You see, we don’t consider performance as something measured on paper, but rather on your total quality of life. If you consider the health risk of not only the surgery itself, but what happens to your body as you are asked to stay immobile for weeks and even months (think atrophy of muscle and connective tissue, as well as osteoporosis), the risk of additional infection in and around water environments, the risk of high impact activities and how they might fracture the bone or cause other irreparable damage to the attachment site, the unknown effects to tissue health as well as overall health of reduced vascular flow due to your limb simply hanging down, having to rely on muscles that have been shortened and reattached without the aid of a surrounding frame to enhance limb compression, and therefore compromised in their ability to actively pump fluids back into your body, the fact that your limb will always drain fluids, and finally, the cost of the surgery and your rehabilitation. Believe me, we could go on and on, but unless someone takes the time to go over all of these potential risks with you, no one will. Why? As I was told by a particular surgeon who performs OI surgery, it makes for great PR. This is not to say that OI hasn’t helped individuals migrate from a poorly designed removable socket, or given hope to someone who simply isn’t a candidate for a socket, but to make the leap from “my bucket is uncomfortable and underperforming” to “I need surgery” is simply a leap too far in our opinion. Give the HiFi a try first, and then make your decision.