If you didn’t have time to watch PBO Group’s The Other Side of Osseointegration broadcast, it really is 30 minutes filled with important takeaways, especially for those researching whether the procedure may be the right choice for them.
For this broadcast, PBO Group was fortunate to be able to tap into the knowledge of Kirsten Woodend, who has not only had Osseointegration surgery but also co-authored a study that looked at common symptoms experienced by those who have had OI surgery. Through her research, Kirsten and her team reviewed and compiled posts from the 3000-member Facebook group known as the Osseointegration Peer Support Group to produce the booklet, OI Symptoms On The Road To Mobility.
Kirsten’s insights on our broadcast are a great reminder of the importance of thorough research for anyone considering any medical procedure. Here are just three of the particularly impactful pieces of advice Kirsten offered in her conversation with PBO Group’s Certified Prosthetist, Andrew Litner:
Key Takeaway #1: Be Wary of Online Advice
According to Kirsten, “If you go through any peer support group, including the Osseointegration Peer Support Group, you will see things posted there that you’ll want to think twice about.”
One way Kirsten and her team have helped try to address some of the potentially problematic advice that can pop up in online support groups was to include “Fact Checkers” throughout their booklet. The Fact Checkers serve to present evidence-based findings to address potentially problematic health suggestions.
Key Takeaway #2: Lean Into Your Health Care Professional’s Knowledge
As Osseointegration is a relatively new field in Ontario, some of the people on your healthcare support team might not have direct experience assisting in OI surgical care. Kirsten noted that even without having specific OI knowledge, healthcare professionals can still offer very valuable evidence-based guidance related to common symptoms and side effects such as pain management and infection care.
Key Takeaway #3: Remember There Are Always Two Sides To Every Story
In research related to online peer support groups, Kirsten has noticed that those who are considering a procedure, like OI, typically receive a lot of very positive feedback about the procedure when they turn to an online support group for input. There seems to be a tendency from those who have undergone a procedure to enthusiastically report the positive side of things and not the related challenges. Keeping this unintentional bias in mind when perusing peer support group responses is important.
Despite having faced a number of challenges following her surgery, Kirsten reports that given the choice to have Osseointegration surgery again today, she would still choose to pursue it.
PBO Group’s Certified Prosthetists are always available to discuss the pros and cons of Osseointegration surgery with you and take you through an assessment to determine if you might be a good candidate for the procedure.