What is Osseointegration?

Osseointegration is a technique in which a titanium implant is inserted in the bone. The implant gradually attaches to the bone and is actually considered as part of the body. A part of the implant comes through the skin and this is where the prosthesis can be screwed on. This eliminates the need of a socket around the stump.

Benefits of an implant:

  • Clients experience longer and better mobility and walking will costs less energy;
  • Better sitting position and therefore fewer back problems;
  • Fewer skin and transpirations problems;
  • Reduced falling risk due to improved surface feeling;
  • The prosthesis can easily be put on and off.

Be aware of the following aspects

At this moment osseointegration is not suitable for all amputees. Certain types of illnesses prevent general suitability for this kind of surgery. An important and aspect of osseointegration, is the permanent opening of the skin (stoma). This stoma must be cleaned with lukewarm water twice a day. It only takes a few minutes, but it is necessary to prevent irritations and infections harming the stump. In some cases, the skin may get irritated at the stoma, which may require extra care or a treatment with antibiotics.

What you need to know:

  • The implant can be more visible through clothing;
  • In the first year after the implantation, pain (muscular pain, adhesion pain) often happens. However, the pain will disappear when the stump muscles become stronger and fitter again. To reach this phase requires persistence of the patient;
  • Although it’s seldom, infections and inflammations of the bone can occur. In that case the implant may have to be removed;
  • In case of a heavy fall there is a minor risk of a bone fracture near the implant.
Beenprothese osseointegration

With an osseointegration people can do (nearly) everything again, for instance:

  • Having a shower or a bath
  • Driving
  • Cycling and mountain biking
  • Swimming
  • Sailing and diving
  • Going to the sauna
  • After rehabilitation and gently rebuilding the stump muscles and bone, even more intensive activities may be possible after about 2 years.

Impact and contact sports, such as football, martial arts and skiing are discouraged because of an increased risk of bone fractures. 

Whom is Osseointegration for?

The applications of osseointegration are still developing, and lower leg, arm, hand and finger surgeries will be possible in the future. Due to the risks that may occur in patients with complex health issues, ICON in Motion handles a strict selection procedure. Amputees are suitable for osseointegration if they are physically matured and measure op to the selection criteria. This includes requirements such as healthy physical and mental health, the absence of circulatory system disease or diabetes. Smoking is an absolute no go for osseointegration surgery. Patients must have stopped smoking at least three months before the surgery; after treatment, smoking is not allowed at all.

Do you suffer from pain of a prosthetic fitting?

Are you unable to find a solution with your prosthetist and continue to walk with a poorly fitting prosthesis socket or with pain? Then it is worth asking for a second opinion. A second opinion at Protec is FREE and without obligations and gives you a good insight into your complaints, so that they are a thing of the past as quickly as possible! Protec has a team of experts in the field of leg prostheses. If you are interested in an appointment, which is free of charge, you can make an appointment here at the Protec clinic in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Want to know if you are suitable for osseointegration? Please fill in the enquiry form


The history of osseointegration

In the 1950’s, Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that the human bone is capable of integration with titanium. This breakthrough resulted in the osseointegration technique, which since then is applied mostly in dentistry. Since 1995, osseointegration treatments are carried out on leg amputations. With surgery, an implant is integrated in the bone of the patient’s leg, eliminating the need for socket prostheses. The implant can be directly connected to the prosthesis (sometimes popularly called click prosthesis or prosthetic leg implant).

As the prosthesis is directly fixed to the firmly attached implant, it eliminates socket related complaints such as swelling, irritation, abrasions and inflammations caused by friction. This makes walking for a longer period of time more comfortable and much easier. Mobility increases due to much improved sense of surface. Research shows that osseointegration is a safe technique where after a period of recovery, people experience less pain and a better quality of life.

Would you like to receive more information about Osseointegration and ICON in Motion? Download our folder.


What does the treatment programme look like?

Eligible patients will receive an invitation to attend the osseointegration outpatients’ clinic. At this consultation, the osseointegration process is explained and a telephone appointment is scheduled with a psychologist and a specialist for a face-to-face introductory meeting and first assessment. This is followed by an extensive questionnaire. Once the screening process has been completed, any additional examinations (if necessary) have been carried out and 50% of the payment has been completed, the surgery is scheduled. The journey to the Netherlands and accommodation are also facilitated (flight & hotel are booked and rehabilitation is scheduled).

The total duration of your stay in the Netherlands will be 4 to 6 weeks; all care during this period is facilitated by ICON in Motion. As soon as you return to your own country, check-ups will take place via Facetime/Skype/telephone. Any follow-up X-rays and imaging can take place in your own country and added to the electronic patient file, for assessment by the specialist in the Netherlands.

The surgery

One day before the surgery the patient will report with the hospital for another medical check, and to ask any questions they may have. Then there is the actual surgery in which the implant is integrated in the bone and an incision is made in the skin (a stoma) where the pin comes out. After the surgery the patient goes to the nursing ward where there will be a post-surgery visit twice a day and an image of the stump after the surgery is made. This normally takes 3 to 5 days.


After the nursing period the patient will move to the hotel for daily rehabilitation. The rehabilitation is supervised by a physiotherapist twice a week for 2 hours. In this, muscle strengthening exercises are done and the load on the pin is build up from 5 or 20 kilos to eventually 50% of the own body weight. Afterwards the prosthesis will also be adjusted and gait training will be started. During the rehabilitation the patient will also be assisted by a psychologist if necessary.

Are you interested or have any questions?


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