An osseointegrated implant in otology is the placement of a prosthesis fixed to the bone and that will be biocompatible with this one. Osseointegrated implants have the function of changing the transmission of sounds from air to bone.
When the sounds can not reach the inner ear due to malformations, lesions in the eardrum or the ossicular chain of the ear, a transmission deafness occurs.. The sounds arrive very diminished or they do not arrive because of the alterations that exist in the anatomical elements of the outer and middle ear. These deafness of transmission can often be corrected by surgery, called tympanoplasty .
When this surgery is not resulting, or in some cases, it can not be done, the solution may be the placement of an external hearing aid , the ideal one being that sends the sound through the bone, in cases of transmission deafness. These prostheses are placed on top of the mastoid (see image), so you have to make contact with pressure on the skin. But this skin and sometimes the lack of pressure on it decrease the volume of the sound.
To improve transmission, systems have been developed through which the prosthesis is fixed to the bone by means of a screw implanted in the mastoid. The technique is simple: the skin opens up to the bone and the implant is screwed into it. In a few days you can place the prosthesis on the implanted screw and appreciate the hearing improvement. The hearing loss caused by the lack of sound transmission is completely recovered.
To indicate this type of implants before surgery, the patient tests the improvement of his hearing with the prosthesis using a vibrator and, if he considers it sufficient, he goes to surgery.