Fenra’s Story – new skateboard wheel amputation prosthesis

Belgian Shepherd Fenra with skateboard wheel amputation prosthesis

Belgian Shepherd Fenra with our latest generation of amputation prosthesis, PerFiTS (Percutaneous Fixation To the Skeleton) implant – made from a skateboard wheel!

Exciting new generation of amputation prosthesis implant using a skateboard wheel for Fenra.

Fenra is a full of life 12-year-old Belgian Shepherd who is the recipient of our latest generation of amputation prosthesis, PerFiTS (Percutaneous Fixation To the Skeleton) implant. We’re the only centre in the world with access to this technology at present and we find that families want to at least consider the ethics of having this choice for their canine and feline friends when potentially faced with full-limb amputation. It’s not appropriate for all patients and full amputation or a stump-socket prosthesis are good options for many, but where applicable, a skeletally anchored endoprosthesis can provide an excellent quality of life with pain-free function on four legs.

Fenra had a tumour eating away at her right wrist (carpus) which was rapidly enlarging and transpired to be a histiocytic sarcoma. We discussed all options with Fenra’s mum, who is very devoted to her. She did not want full limb amputation and so we discussed the ethical considerations of partial limb amputation and limb salvage. A stump-socket prosthesis was not a good option for Fenra.

Belgian Professor Noel Fitzpatrick and patient with skateboard wheel amputation prosthesis

Belgian Shepherd Fenra pictured with Professor Noel Fitzpatrick.

Fenra has had her new generation of PerFiTS since summer 2021 and has been doing incredibly well. The endoprosthesis is rigidly anchored to the radius and ulna using bone on-growth plates, whilst the skin grows onto a special titanium mesh called the dermal integration module. Below this is a spigot onto which is attached an exoprosthesis, which in this case is made from light-weight aluminium and a ‘foot’ made from a skateboard wheel. The durable plastic of the wheel serves our more exuberant patients rather well.

Read more about amputation prostheses

Read more about our orthopaedic service

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