What storylines will command the limb-loss community’s attention over the next 12 months?
The days of settling for a socket that beats up your residual limb are waning. Better-fitting 3D-printed and thermoformable alternatives are already here, adjustable “smart” sockets are coming, and access to socketless solutions—including osseointegration—is rapidly growing.
Pivoting on Pain
The retreat from opioid-based strategies is a full-on stampede. Natural pain-control remedies are attracting gazillions of dollars in research funding and capital investment. Surgical innovations and newfangled therapies are gaining traction, while time-tested approaches such as yoga, acupuncture, and massage are getting new looks.
Raising a Hand
Every year, it seems, another next-gen bionic hand wins major design awards and generates lots of media buzz. There are at least half a dozen devices that seem poised to break through, but so far none has converted potential into game-changing results. Will this finally be the year a high-tech hand gets a firm grip on the marketplace?
Putting Patients First
Healthcare silos are starting to crumble, clinicians are becoming more collaborative, and consumers are settling for nothing less. Amputees are getting smarter, choosier, and more assertive about their care, and a rising generation of practitioners is realizing that empowering patients leads to better outcomes.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, the links among social connection, emotional balance, and physical well-being have never been starker. Prosthetists and other care providers are growing more attentive to the mental-health needs of their amputee patients, beefing up resources to support hearts and minds.