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Medical prosthesis

Medical Prosthesis

 What is a medical prosthesis? It refers to orthopedic implants or medical devices, manufactured to replace or support missing and dysfunctional body parts, most frequently damaged joints and bones. An implantable medical prosthesis is fixed in the body through an operation, in orthopedics called internal fixation or surgical implementation.

In general, medical prostheses fall into two main categories:


  • Ones designed to replace a missing part of the body
  • Ones that make a part of the body work or look better

Some common examples of medical prosthesis are false teeth, jaw bone replacements (maxillofacial prosthesis), and penis implants. Other types of medical prosthesis such as plates, screws, pins and rods are implanted into the body to help anchor fractured bones.

Getting a medical prosthesis requires rehab in some cases, particularly when a traumatic event or amputation has led to prosthesis implementation.

Medical Prosthesis Types

Prostheses can be categorized according to anatomical regions, being craniofacial and somato the two main focus areas. Types can be divided further:

  • Craniofacial prostheses – include oral, cheek and nasal prostheses.
  • Somato prostheses – involve breast and limb prostheses.
  • Upper extremity prostheses – include transhumeral, transradial, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, fingers prostheses.
  • Lower extremity prostheses – comprise of hip articulations, transfemoral, transtibian, knee, transtibial, symes, foot and toe prostheses.

While prosthesis in the limbs is the most common type of medical prosthesis, many other body parts have been in the center of attention for current medical developments:

  • Cosmetic implants are used to disguise injuries through silicone designs.
  • Neuro-prosthesis helps to modulate neural functions to augment cognitive processes such as attention, language and memory.


Implantable Medical Prosthesis Cost

Depending on the type of the implantable medical prosthesis, the materials and designs used, prosthetics are available in low-cost (knee prosthesis) and extremely pricey variations (transradial implants can go up to $8,000). Many of them have no coverage by health insurers, additionally, due to wear and tear, medical prosthesis should be replaced every 3-4 years.


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