Am posting this as talking to Chris the other day I mentioned a cat that had been saved by our vet that may lose its rear legs, and he pointed me in the direction of this Engadget post (originally via TechCrunch) about a cat that had some 3D prosthetic legs made.
Due to a congenital defect, Vincent was born without rear tibias and likely would have died had he not been rescued and surrendered to an Iowa animal shelter. Once adopted, he caught the attention of Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Iowa State University’s Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center. She worked with 3D printing firm Biomedtrix to create a custom pair of extruded titanium peg legs for the feline, enabling him to walk for the first time.
“I think this does open the door for us to be able to help other animals that have similar problems,” Bergh said in a statement. “And even what we’ve learned just through Vincent’s one case, we’ve actually refined the technique and the implants, so the next cases we do moving forward will be even more successful.”
Unlike conventional prosthetics, these legs are surgically embedded into his upper leg bones so that as he grows, they fuse themselves to the prosthetics. So while he walks like a pirate, Vincent is technically a cyborg.
Genuinely amazing what they can do these days!