Osseointegration, Misinformation and Cover-up Exposure
Further to my previous blog I have thought long and hard and researched the perceived attitude by the US medical and prosthetics industry. Looking at facts on the internet (public domain) and my insight and patient knowledge of the program something did not add up. Was there a good reason why osseointergration has not had a fair debate in the US? Either misinformation, creating fear of infection, or no information , example: Tonya Murray’s response to my last blog, (she had never heard of this treatment).
It turns out the US have been working on this all along. The VA through the University of UTAH http://utah.technologypublisher.com/technology/3452 have done research and clinical trials on osseointergration and lodged provisional patents. Up till now there has been no human implants performed, only an anonymous free thinking American who challenged the US medical culture by travelling to Sweden with financial sacrifices, who is now enjoying new function and quality of life.
The US program has two provisional patents in place with slightly changed protocol using electro therapy to supposedly aid integration. It will only be a short time before there will be a high demand and this treatment will be sanctioned by the FDA and the VA so hundreds of American servicemen who have lost limbs in combat will benefit from new function. Currently there are three systems in the world for orthopaedic osseointergration, the true pioneers the Swedish and followed by German company Esska, (legs only) also the English have their own system based on a deer antler anatomy to grow skin onto metal. (Intraosseous Transcutaneous Integration)
I believe after my own careful research the Swedish option is the best and has the most successful outcome to date. The original is the best.
All this technology has intellectual property attached. My argument being essentially patriotism and resenting some other country being ahead of the US is the cause of blocking of FDA approvals. This way the US medical system has full control without being dependant on foreign countries. Professor Roy D Bloebaum of the University of Utah, is heading the research in the US. This doctor has spent and received qualifications in Australia but has been pipped at the post by the Australians at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne in collaboration with the Swedish, the Australians seeing the advantage of the synergistic relationship between the two countries.
My prediction is that after the intellectual property is finalised and some brave American steps forward this will quickly go from a risky experimental surgery to as American as apple pie in a very short time but also with a short memory about the previous criticism of foreign treatments. Suddenly this will be fashionable because Americans have changed the protocols and claim it is their own invention. The FDA has been blocking the diplomatic and ethical Swedish approaches for years which is a travesty, considering the war amputee veterans and their lost function.
In conclusion osseointegration in the US is inevitable soon depending on internal medical politics and attitudes to foreign technologies.